so last week i was pretty sick. i had the stomach flu, which i NEVER get, and a head cold. i felt like i couldn’t eat anything. everything i ate made me yucky. i just didn’t feel good at all. besides getting some sleep, i also knew i had to bake something. well i had a huge jar of pears open from the week before, and couldn’t, in good conscience, watch the whole jar go bad. i hate that. i open the jar because i want to use 3 chunks on a salad.
in walks ginger.
while searching for inspiration, i found 2 open bags of candied ginger. TWO! what a waste. this was it. my chance to use stuff up. i love the taste of ginger, and it makes me feel better when my stomach is upset.
muffins. ginger pear muffins. at this point, i’m totally impressed with myself. but did i have a recipe? no. could i find one online that holds to my low fat requirements? heck no. time to improvise. i found one that i sort of liked (i believe it started out as a weight watchers recipe), then changed it completely. it turned out REALLY well. i don’t usually have first time success on total experimental recipes. this was luck. the only problem i bumped into was that the lack of fat glued the muffins to the muffin papers. it ticked me off, but after they sat for a day, the paper softened and peeled fine. the muffins themselves were really good. i was surprised by the moistness, and they were fluffy with little bits of pear poking out with every bite. they were the perfect amount of sweet, mostly from the pear juices spreading out. i recommend these for a sick day, or a well day. i made a spicy ginger glaze for them, though, next time i don’t think i’ll need it. if you think you would like a little added fat, i would add 2 tsp of oil. it would really moisten things up.
this is my recipe for ginger pear muffins!
2 large pears, ripe
4 halves from a jar, i used pears in white grape juice
2/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar (i always use turbinado)
1/8 cup candied ginger, chopped into tiny pieces
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 tbsp egg whites, lightly beaten OR 1 large egg lightly beaten
juice of 1/2 squeezed lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened (i use “light”) soy milk, or dairy milk
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR 1 cup each white all purpose and whole wheat
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
preheat oven to 375f. coat a dozen-hole muffin tin. or, spray12 muffin papers with a little oil or non stick spray.
core and chop pears into 1/2″ pieces. set in small mixing bowl and mix with lemon juice and sugar.
in separate bowl, mix together vanilla, soy milk, sour cream, and egg.
in large bowl, whisk salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger and flour. make a well in center of the flour mixture: pour in sour cream mixture, then pear mixture, then candied ginger. mix lightly and quickly until all ingredients look JUST evenly mixed and incorporated. don’t over mix or you’ll have tough muffins.
the batter is going to be pretty thick and dry looking. this is fine.
spoon into tin or papers, filling about 3/4 the way full. bake for 30 minutes or so, until tops are browned and skewer comes out clean when stuck through the middle. remove from oven and let them cool in the tin for a few minutes. transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely.
some people like their ginger pretty spicy and strong. if you think the muffin alone will not be sweet or ginger-y enough for you, i suggest making a glaze from the juice in pear jar:
4 tbsp or so of the reserved juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
couple pinches chopped candied ginger
heat juice on low heat, stirring in sugar. you can add more juice or sugar depending on the thickness desired. once sugar looks dissolved, stir in ground ginger quickly, and glaze muffins. i like to use a pastry brush to evenly coat. sprinkle on candied ginger.
these muffins store pretty well. i stored the majority in the freezer, and my “immediate” supply in covered cake pedestal. i like to keep a few different muffins in the freezer so i can just grab them and thaw them out when i don’t have any “fresh” on hand. this works well for me, because i eat so many of them.