Pear Ginger Walnut Muffins

By • September 14, 2011 • 31 Comments

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Author Notes: I’m not ready for pears yet. I’m still trying to get my fill of peaches, corn and juicy ripe tomatoes. You know, the summer stuff. Turning my attention to pears and apples feels like packing away my summer sandals before I’ve even had a chance to wear them. But even though I’m not ready for pears yet, the pears are definitely ready for me. The little pear tree in our backyard has already dropped about sixty of them. They drop on the ground one at a time with a little thud, and roll down the stone path towards the house, practically knocking on the kitchen door. They can no longer be ignored. It’s time to get cooking.

I'm a sucker for the pear and ginger combo, so I created a pear ginger sauce and then adapted the "Applesauce Spice Muffins" recipe from Epicurious (Gourmet, November 2003) to fit my fancy.

You can make the pear ginger sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few weeks. The quantities listed here are perfect for one batch of muffins, but I usually double or triple the pear sauce recipe and keep some in my freezer for the next batch of muffins, or to serve over crepes, french toast, or ice cream.





Ms. T

Food52 Review: Ms. T's muffins are a wonderful breakfast treat. The pear and ginger combo is wonderful and the use of fresh and ground ginger results in a well developed flavor. The pear sauce retains lots of pear chunks that are a great treat in the muffins. I used fresh (non-frozen) ginger and loved the 2 tablespoons ginger in the sauce, but feel free to adjust to your preferences. - biffbourgeoisStephanie Bourgeois

Makes one dozen medium-sized muffins

Pear Ginger Sauce

  • 4 small, ripe pears (Bartlett or similar), peeled, cored and diced. Should yield about 2 cups.
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger (I keep my peeled ginger root in the freezer and grate it with a microplane when I need it, which tends to make the gratings a little fluffy. So if you’re using fresh, unfrozen ginger, you might want a little less)
  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and frothy add pears, tossing with a wooden spoon to coat.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Add grated ginger and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, until pears are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes.

Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger for batter + 1/2 teaspoon for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar for batter + 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup), plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pear ginger sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Whisk together eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then add butter whisking or blending with electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Stir in pear ginger sauce, then fold in flour mixture to combine. Stir in 1 cup of walnuts and divide batter among muffin cups.
  5. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 cup walnuts. Sprinkle topping evenly on top of muffins. Bake until muffins are golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and cool slightly. Enjoy with coffee, preferably in a sunny spot in the backyard. Once cooled completely, the muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature 1 day, or in the freezer for about a week.
Jump to Comments (31)

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Missfatscat

7 months ago missfats

Fantastic recipe! See my full review: http://missfats.wordpress...

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9 months ago Lee B

I found this recipe on a random page not being familiar with this site. It sounds delicious and I look forward to trying it. But I am most interested in the muffin tin they are pictured in. My mother had these when I was a child(many years ago) and I would love to find them. Everything she made in them had such wonderful crust.

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9 months ago Cris

Just made these and I had to stop by and say: 'thank you'!!! so delicious! They go on my 'favourite' list

Stringio

10 months ago Samuel Gerry

Made these this morning with some pears that were getting a bit soft. I've never been a huge pear fan, but these are absolutely amazing. Ginger and pear is a wonderful combination! I didn't sprinkle any sugar or nuts on top due to personal preference. The use of ginger two ways was also a really smart decision. Thanks for sharing!

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about 1 year ago Erika

Fresh ginger makes me quesy. Ground ginger from the spice aisle almost does the same, so if I use it, it is sparingly. (Horror of horrors, I know.) But treats like these sound so divine...I am wondering if there is a gently gingered version of these muffins...or if there is some ginger substitute that I have not discovered...sigh...

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'd use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (or ground cardamom, if you prefer). It's a classic combination that I use often when baking with fruit (including in my Pear-Filled Cowboy Coffee Cake, and my Spiced Applesauce Quinoa Muffins, posted here). It would work beautifully in these muffins! (I'd use those amounts for both the pear sauce and the muffins.) ;o)

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about 1 year ago Ms. T

I agree with AJ, and I've made her delicious pear coffee cake many times :) The muffins will still be good without ginger--the pear sauce (or apple sauce, if you prefer) makes them extra moist. You can tweak the flavor profile in any direction. I also like the combination and pear and almond flavors, so maybe you could play with almond extract instead of vanilla and topping with almonds instead of walnuts or pecans. (if you do, I would skip the cinnamon and cloves, which may overpower.) If you find a variation you like please let us know!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What a great idea, using almonds and almond extract. Every fall, without fail, I fall hopelessly in love. With pears. So glad to see this recipe again. Will definitely be making these, with the almond variation, soon! ;o)

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almost 2 years ago Franca

These didn't last 5 minutes at my house. My kids devoured them. Luckily I got to taste one. Excellent flavour.

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almost 2 years ago Ms. T

So glad you (and your kids) enjoyed the recipe!

Lobster_001

about 2 years ago nannydeb

I made these with whole wheat flour and they were moist & delicious! I also subbed pecans (because that's what I had) and topped them with wheat germ & turbinado sugar. Love the ginger pear sauce. This is now my fave muffin recipe!

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about 2 years ago Ms. T

Thanks nannydeb, so glad you liked the recipe! I will have to try the whole wheat flour and wheat germ next time as that sounds good. I often use pecans instead of walnuts--whatever I had on hand. This year, our pear tree didn't bear much fruit, so I definitely did not get my fill of these muffins. I'll have to do it with apples instead.

Stringio

over 1 year ago adele93

hi, just wondering if you subbed all the AP flour for whole meal or only part and if you feel the 'raising' was affected?

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almost 3 years ago WhatEmilyAte

Oh wow, these are going to be my treat to myself for finishing exams tomorrow! The thought of gingery pears will keep me motivated through this glut of revision....

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almost 3 years ago Ms. T

That is quite a compliment! Hope your exams went well and that you rewarded yourself well with muffins, naps, and other treats :)

Lime_lassi

almost 3 years ago lime lassi

I recall the morning you baked these and how heavenly the house smelled. Not to mention how tasty the muffins are !

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almost 3 years ago Ms. T

Thanks Mom. Consider it a payback for all the times you filled the house with smells of pancakes with pear-ginger sauce. (My inspiration for this recipe.)

Cookbooks

about 3 years ago nettleandquince

Pears, ginger, walnuts - an excellent combination! I will have to try these muffins, I'm sure they will be a hit with the children.

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almost 3 years ago Ms. T

Thanks nettleandquince. I hope you and the kids enjoy!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The pear ginger sauce sounds delicious! And we love muffins here, so this is perfect. Definitely going to try these, soon. ;o)

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about 3 years ago Ms. T

Thanks AntononiaJames! Let me know how they turn out.

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Do you measure the walnuts before or after chopping? 1 1/2 cups of already chopped walnuts seems like an enormous amount for a dozen muffins . . . . (Making these this week, as soon as my pears ripen up a bit!) ;o)

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about 3 years ago Ms. T

Good catch, AJ! You're right, I measured before I chopped. It also depends on how nutty you want your muffins. Sometimes I put the nuts in the batter and on top (as described here) and sometimes I just sprinkle them on top. Let me know how yours turn out!

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

Breaking out the muffin pan this weekend for these!

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about 3 years ago Ms. T

Thanks wssmom! Let me know how they turn out. BTW, it has just been brought to my attention that I have an error in the recipe--it should be 1/4 cup of sugar in the sauce, not 1/2 cup. (Unless you prefer things on the sweeter side.) I'll edit this once the judging is over.

Steph

about 3 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

No worries, Ms. T. We already made the correction.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a beautiful muffin recipe. So good!!!

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about 3 years ago Ms. T

Thank you sdebrango! They're one of my favorite ways to celebrate a lazy weekend morning.

Nog

about 3 years ago Niknud

Oh yum. I am totally with you about the delights of the pear-ginger combination. Love that you used walnuts as a topping in addition to mixing in the batter - sounds delicious!

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about 3 years ago Ms. T

Thanks Niknud. Speaking of pear ginger combos, I just checked out your Pear-Devil recipe and it looks divine (and your notes are very funny). Hope your birthday took a turn for the better!