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Roasted Pear Ginger Oatmeal Muffins

I come from a family that loves spending time in the kitchen. Growing up we rarely had take-out meals, instead enjoying a fresh home cooked meal most nights of the week. I realize now how spoiled I was to have grown up that way, but I’m so grateful I did because it instilled in me this great love for food and cooking. Now whenever I go back home to visit my family, we continue the tradition of cooking and eating together. I, of course, love baking the most, and my parents are both really good at creating savory dishes (though my Mom’s a great baker as well, can’t discount that!), so we often have the perfect balance of sweet and savory dishes to go around.

When I bake at home, I often seek input from my parents or extended family – whoever’s going to be enjoying whatever I create. My Dad is very agreeable and is generally happy to sample whatever I bake, but my Mom always asks for the same flavors – lemon, fruit, ginger.  These muffins were inspired by a bakery favorite we’ll often get from a bakery near where my parents live. The famed Pear Ginger Muffins have a wonderful texture – very dense but not heavy, flavorful and moist, with an earthy ginger flavor coming at you from all directions. I always wondered how they achieved such a perfect texture, but found that I was able to get pretty close with this recipe.

Roasted Pear Ginger Muffins

Roasted Pear Ginger Muffins

The key is rolled oats. When baked into this batter, they expand and absorb lots of the liquid and flavor, which breaks down their structure a bit, and gives the muffins a really nice texture and chew. I roasted the pears before folding them in, which helped to seal in a lot of their sweetness and moisture, and I was really pleased with how well they stood up, and how great they tasted, in the final product. I also opted to use several layers of ginger flavor, because honestly, I LOVE ginger (and so does Mom!).

Roasted Pear Ginger Muffins

A quick sprinkle of sugar over top of the muffins gave them their nice crispy tops – a muffin feature I am obsessed with and have started doing every time I bake them. I love all parts of  muffins, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the tops are ALWAYS my favorite.

Roasted Pear Ginger Muffins

While these aren’t the prettiest muffins you’ll ever make, they are seriously some of the most delicious. If you like pears, or ginger, or muffins – and especially all three – you should go bake them this weekend! You won’t regret it.

Roasted Pear Ginger Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2-3 pears cut into 1/2-in pieces, approx 1 1/2 cups*
  • 1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger.
  3. In a large mixing cup or small bowl, add grated fresh ginger and vanilla extract to buttermilk, stir to combine, and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar and egg until well combined. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, then mix in remaining flour. Fold in the oatmeal to combine, then fold in the diced pears and candied ginger until well incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. These muffins don't rise significantly, so you can fill each cavity right to the top without a problem. To achieve a crunchy muffin top, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar over each muffin.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from over, and cool in tins for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*You can use your favorite type of pear here. For this recipe, I used Barlett Pears.

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One Response to “Roasted Pear Ginger Oatmeal Muffins”

  1. Pear-ginger is one of the best combinations there is. And I’d day those *are* pretty muffins.

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