Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pear Spiced Muffins

I love pears in the fall just as much as I love apples, and was trying to figure out what to make that would be something I could have for a few days...something with a shelf life or a freezer life.

I also wanted to find a recipe that would be "gluten-free" as I am not so tolerant of wheat any more.

So I came across a gluten-free blog called "gluten free goddess" and decided to try her Pear Polenta Muffins. Gluten-free baking is new for me, and so I needed some help! I did tweak her recipe with one addition: I added crystallized ginger for a bit more zing. Hey, I think they came out pretty darn good....and as Karina says, they are not "low carb" but that's okay by me because I believe in moderation!

Here is her recipe:

Pear Polenta Muffins Recipe

This recipe is vegan, meaning no eggs or dairy are used. But you'd never know it. These muffins are grainy and tender with soft sweet bites of pear that almost melt in your mouth.

2 cups peeled, cored and diced ripe pears- 2-3 pears- depending upon size
3/4 cup organic ground cornmeal

3/4 cup rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup light olive oil
1 soft ripe banana, mashed well
1/3 to 1/2 cup hemp or rice milk, as needed
2/3 cup organic brown or raw sugar

1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
A sprinkle of organic raw sugar for topping, if desired

1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a twelve muffin tin with liners.

2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients- cornmeal, rice flour, tapioca starch, sea salt, baking powder and cinnamon; whisk with a fork to blend. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl beat the light olive oil with the mashed banana; add 1/3 cup hemp milk, sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

4. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat lightly until well blended; but do not beat it to death. The batter should be like a thick muffin batter (not as thin as a cake batter). If your batter is dry or stiff add a tablespoon of hemp or rice milk at a time and stir until it loosens up.

5. Stir in the pears.

6. Drop the batter into the muffin cups by spoonfuls; distribute evenly among the twelve cups. I like to make sure there are a few pear pieces sticking out of the tops. Sprinkle with a dusting of raw sugar.

7. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or so until the muffins are firm to the touch on top and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean. Try the pick method twice- you might hit a moist pear.

8. Set the pan on a rack to cool for a couple of minutes; then liberate the muffins from the hot pan- this keeps the bottoms from steaming and getting soggy. Cool the muffins on a wire rack.

To store- wrap and freeze cooled muffins in the freezer. They thaw easily and taste tender and sweet when still a wee bit chilled. They also are delicious warm.
Makes 12 muffins.

Tip: Room temperature pears help keep the baking time even; room temperature ingredients work best in gluten-free baking.


  1. Nice blog you got right here... I enjoyed reading your posts. I'm sure I'll visit here more often. Anyway, if you are interested, you can take a look at these amazing French macaroons and Almond macaroon cookies I've been trying to make.. It's very hard though... :) If you know how to make these, maybe you could give me some tips. Thanks!

  2. Those are gorgeous! I have always coveted French Macaroons but never have I tried to make them. There are tons of recipes out there- they seem to be a trend that is sticking around...I remember a couple of years ago, madeleines were all the rage and I sold a ton of madeleine pans at the store. I will have to get back to you on the macaroons....thanks for reading!

  3. Micah- I am following this blog:
    They just did a n entry on macaroons!