This weekend we packed up the dogs and went up to Georgia to my husband’s family farm. He was getting the farm ready for deer season. I was reaping the harvest, namely muscadine grapes (future posts to come) and pears.
I always love going to the farm, but I especially love the farm in late summer. Firstly, I love the harvest. Secondly, I LOVE FALL. I love everything about fall, cooler weather, boots, scarves, bon fires, beautiful leaves, pumpkins, warm cinnamon, cloves, and ginger scents, and all things cozy. This is one of the hardest parts of living in Florida. No fall. But when I go to the farm I get fall. And this time of year I get so excited.
Last year, there were boatloads of muscadine grapes, but no pears. The trees did not produce. Honestly, I thought the root stock had taken over the trees and they would produce no more. But I was happy to be wrong. The trees were covered! So I picked to my hearts content and started plotting all things pear.
I am dreaming of pear cakes, pear brandy and pear butter, but I decided to start with pear muffins. Mmmmmmm. Muffins. Just on the cusp of fall, these muffins hit a sweet spot between warm and spicy but still light. The recipe starts with pear sauce, which is simply pears cooked down with water and lemon juice. It is the pear version of apple sauce. I will say, it is a bit labor intensive because pears are harder to chop up than an apple. My hands are still a little sore from gripping the knife so hard. But the results are delicious. I left the pear sauce a bit chinky so the muffins have soft chunks of pear running throughout. The ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom are spicy enough to lift the flavor of pear but not overwhelming. These muffins whisper, “Get ready for fall.” In the morning while I sip dirty chai and eat these muffins, I will be ramping up for fall in my heart, even if it will be 90 degrees until Halloween.
For Pear Sauce:
8 pounds peeled, cored, and chopped pears
*Just a note on these pears, they are a yellow-green pear with firm flesh. They closely resemble asian pears at the grocery store.
3 cups water
1.5 cups lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For Pear Muffins:
1 cup pear sauce
1/2 cup honey
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
Instructions for Pear Sauce
- peel, core, and roughly dice pears.
- Toss pears with a bit of lemon juice as they are diced to prevent pears from turning color
- Add water, pears, pinch of salt and remainder of lemon juice to large pot
- Turn heat to high
- When pears begin to boil turn the heat down to medium low and partially cover with lid
- Simmer for 45 minutes or until pears begin to soften
- Use a potato masher to mash up pears into chunky pear sauce.
Instructions for Muffins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prep muffin tin with cooking spray or butter.
- Mix together the flour, oats, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt and set aside.
- In separate bowl whisk together 2 eggs.
- Add pear sauce, vanilla, and honey to the eggs and combine until homogenous
- Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into muffin tins equally. (Batter should be even with the top of the tin.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (Oven time will vary depending on your oven.)
While waiting on your muffins to bake I recommend making your pets pose for pictures. With pears in their mouths.