|cross-section of an earl grey pear muffin.|
The beauty of making do with what you have, and using up stuff in the pantry, is the surprisingly fancy combinations this frugal activity can inspire. The following recipe is a result of putting two and two together: cheap beurre bosc pears from the market and earl grey tea bags nearing their expiration date. My baking adventures suddenly sound that much more sophisticated.
Simon: What're you baking?
Me: Earl grey pear muffins.
Simon: Sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't it?
I rest my case.
Forget about winning prestige points on the name alone, though, the muffins did actually live up to my expectations. The pears, delicately infused with a buttery earl grey broth, radiate with a warm complexity. Likewise, the batter takes in soft, sensual hints of the bergamot, black tea, and pear flavours, then diffuses them gently to the muffin-eater.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Simon couldn't get enough of my pretentious muffins.
Simon (taking a bite): So how many did you make?
Simon: So that means I can have six muffins, right? Do I get six muffins?
Again, I rest my case.
|with their russet-and-gold appearance, beurre bosc pears exude romance and charm.|
earl grey pear muffins
3 earl grey tea bags, or 3 teaspoons loose leaf earl grey tea
1/2 cup freshly boiled hot water
2 pears (300g / 2/3lb total ±5%) peeled, cored, and chopped into 1.5cm / 0.5 inch cubes
1/4 cup salted butter, plus more for greasing
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (360°F) fan-forced, or 200°C (390°F) regular.
Steep earl grey tea in freshly boiled hot water for at least 5 minutes. Once they are thoroughly steeped, remove the tea. If using tea bags, diligently squeeze the bags so you get as much of the tea infusion as possible.
Simmer pear cubes with earl grey tea and butter over a low medium heat for 5 minutes or until just tender. Let it cool slightly.
Set aside half the pear cubes, and puree the remaining mixture of pear cubes, earl grey and melted butter.
Stir together pear cubes and buttery earl grey pear puree.
Place flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour the pear mixture into the centre of the bowl and stir gently a few times until the wet and dry ingredients just combine to create a thick batter.
Divide batter evenly amongst 6 lightly greased muffin cases.
Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a light earthy brown.
Let the muffins cool slightly for about 10 minutes, then serve. They're best eaten warm.
If you have a very fine-textured whole-wheat flour like atta flour, feel free to substitute 1 cup in lieu of the 1/2 cup plain, 1/2 cup wholemeal mix.
Substitute butter with a vegan spread e.g. Nuttelex, Earth Balance etc. for vegan muffins.
|earl grey pear muffins, warm from the oven.|