I still had a couple of pears left in the fruit bowl after making the pear cake, so decided to make some muffins. I played around with my basic muffins recipe and came up with this one - pears and walnuts are 2 of my favourite things.
I usually make muffins in paper cases, but I've noticed that a lot of crumb gets stuck to these, so this time I decided to make them directly in the muffin tin. Although the tin is non-stick, I greased the holes and dredged over a little flour just to make doubly sure the muffins would pop out easily, which they did.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
225g wholewheat flour or white plain flour if you prefer
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
150g demerara sugar
1 large firm but ripe pear
50g coarsely chopped walnuts
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6, and lightly grease and flour a 12 hole muffin tin.
Put the milk, oil and egg in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
Remove the cores from the pears, leaving the skin on, then chop the flesh into 1cm pieces. Set aside.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and stir to combine. Now add the chopped pear and walnuts and toss to coat and distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups, sprinkle with the extra sugar, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the muffins to cool for ten minutes in the tin before moving them to a cooling rack.
Well, they've cooled off now and I've just tasted one.... The crumb is nice and open, the walnuts give a lovely bit of crunch, and the chunks of pear lend a deliciously sweet and refreshing contrast. I'll certainly make these again. They came out of the tin easily, so I think I'll make them without paper cases in future.