Tuesday, January 24, 2006
GINGER - PEAR MUFFINS
I baked a lot of muffins this weekend. I made four different kinds for an adult sunday school breakfast. Banana-Poppy Seed, Chocolate Ricotta ( which I make often), Cherry-Vanilla Ricotta, and our new favorite Ginger-Pear. These muffins have a very distinct Ginger taste due to the added crystalized Ginger root and the grated fresh Ginger root. So If you like Ginger, you may enjoy these muffins. The recipe comes from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe.
1 cup finely chopped ripe pear
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 to 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/3 Cup very finely minced crystallized ginger
1 Cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 to 3 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8 standard (2 1/2- inch diameter) muffin cups with nonstick spray.
2. Place the chopped pear in a shallow dish, drizzle with lemon juice, and set aside.
3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium size bowl. Stir in the minced crystallized ginger, then comb through the mixture with your fingers to seek out any larger pieces. Cut them into smaller pieces with scissors. ( This is far easier to do when they are coated with flour. Ideally, each bit of ginger should end up about the size of a rolled oat flake.)
4. Measure the 1 cup buttermilk into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add the egg, fresh ginger, and vanilla, and beat gently with a fork or a small whisk until smooth.
5. Slowly pour this mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't overmix; a few lumps are okay.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. For smaller muffins, fill the cups about four-fifths full. for larger muffins, fill them up to the top. If you have extra batter, spray one or two additional muffin cups with nonstick spray and fill with remaining batter.
7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes,or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.