Hoo boy. You guys, it is no longer pitch black at 5:15 when I leave the office to go home. The end is nigh. Spring is getting ready to…. spring.
Maybe it’s the rain, but it seems like the light on winter days is even shorter here in Oregon than I remember having in the midwest. And the randomly gorgeous weather like we had this weekend makes me want to plant tomatoes. Not too many things make me not want to plant tomatoes, but right now I really want to get going. I even got my seed catalog in the mail. And I bought tulips for the kitchen table. Spring can’t come soon enough, but until it does, I am still enjoying my winter fruits.
We’ve been playing with pears a lot over the past week. USA Pears was kind enough to send me a box of six of them, and Dave and I have been using them for sweets, for pizzas and all kinds of stuff. I also just ate one as is today, because they are so darn good on their own.
I’ve definitely had fun working these into some epic savory dishes (just you wait for that pizza), but I love using pears for sweets, too. These muffins came out so soft, and with such a nice rise. We’ll definitely be making them again.
Here’s what you need:
2/3 cup melted, cooled butter
3/4 cup buttermilk or milk with about 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten just a bit
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (not ground!)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 pear, cut into a 1/4 inch dice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together the butter, milk/vinegar combo, vanilla and eggs until well combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.
Add the liquids to the bowl of solids and combine using as few stirs as possible. Finally, stir in the pears. Spoon into a well-greased muffin tin.
Bake for 7 minutes at 375, then turn down to 350 and bake for another 8-13 minutes (total time will be 15-20 minutes).
OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER: USA Pears shipped me a box of six pears to play with, but did not pay me to write this post or specify content for it. If you read this blog, you already know that I love produce and I like to support agriculture!