Pears are sweet and flavorful, but somehow seem to be less popular than apples. Pears have a mild flavor and tender texture that is indescribably wonderful. I love to eat them cold right out of the refrigerator, but also I love to bake with pears.
Any variety of pears are great for baking, but they definitely need to be on the firm side, so they can hold up in a hot oven. Pears add a floral note to muffins, cakes and cookies, as well as amplify a soft crumb. This recipe for Pear Spice & Chocolate Muffins, definitely have fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Also, I topped each muffin with a Chocolate Feve or Wafer for a fun chocolaty bite. You can always use chocolate chips, if you don’t have time to order some Valhrona Chocolate Feves, but they are well worth it.
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pears, any variety
1/3 cup buttermilk
12 Chocolate Feves or Wafers
(Makes 12 Muffins)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil or spray a muffin pan. In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes.
2. Add the flour, xanthan gum, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Dice up the pears, removing the core and stem, add them to the batter and mix for 30 seconds.
3. Pour in the buttermilk and mix again on low for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and mix by hand to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, using an ice cream scoop. Place a Chocolate Feve on top of each muffin and bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes, or until light golden brown.
5. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, place them on a wire rack to cool another 10 minutes before serving.
6. Serve the Pear Spice & Chocolate Muffins with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy!