I used to bake alot more than I have done this year. And it is one of the things that I am known for at work. Tomorrow I am going to a morning tea for a good friend who is going to another job and I wanted to make something special for her. But I also wanted it to be something not to high in calories so that I could fit it into my day.
I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago and was curious. The recipe is Vanilla Pear Muffins with a little nutmeg and lemon zest in there as well. One of the ingredients is unsweetened apple puree which I know can be used in cakes and muffins to help cut the butter but keep flavour and texture. I really like recipes at the moment that have layers of flavour as they are tasty and complex. Alot of diet food I have seen or tried is flat and two dimensional and disappointing… So I am always curious about recipes with different flavours. And this one did catch my attention.
I made these tonight and they are lovely warm out of the oven! The lemon is wonderful! I shared one with my man tonight and will have one tomorrow for morning tea with the girls.
Vanilla Pear Muffins with Lemon and Nutmeg
(adapted from a recipe on http://thepastryaffair.com)
Yields 13 muffins (870 kJ each)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon, finely grated
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened apple puree*
2 large ripe pears
(*I was able to get an apple and pear puree and I used it because I thought the flavour would work better than straight apple. The original recipe said to use unsweetened apple sauce. I used AU measurements but the recipe was originally a US recipe so I don’t think it matters that much in this one)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, zest, brown sugar, butter, oil, and apple until well combined.
Cut the pears into quarters and core. Cut each quarter in half again then each piece into three thin slices. You will have three pieces left over if you make 13 muffins. Cutting like this just makes it easier to work out how thin to cut the slices.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined; do not overmix. Distribute the muffin batter evenly between 12-13 baking cups. Stick 3 slices of pear directly into top of the muffin batter.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned and and the tops bounce back to the touch. Serve hot or at room temperature.