Pear and ginger is always a good combination, and these Ginger and Pear Oatmeal Muffins are no exception. The muffins have big chunks of tender pear in them and include both ground ginger and pieces of candied ginger to give them some spice! The muffins are made with buttermilk, brown sugar and plenty of oatmeal, which has a nice nutty flavor that compliments the fruit and spice well.
For this recipe, fresh pears that are ripe but still firm are ideal. You can peel them easily with a vegetable peeler, then cut them into large dice. Pears have such a delicate texture that if you cut them up too small, you’ll lose some of the wonderful flavor, so bigger pieces are the way to go even though they might make the muffin batter look a bit lumpy. I like the combination of ground ginger – for a mild spice – and candied ginger – for hints of more intense flavor – but if you are a big ginger-lover, you might want to try substituting the ground ginger for a teaspoon or two of freshly grated ginger to add some more drama to these.
You’ll notice that these muffins bake at a higher temperature than many muffins do. This helps to give the muffins a beautiful “crust” on top, and a nice texture. The muffins remain very moist, thanks to the large chunks of pear in them, so as long as you check them with a toothpick when they’re nearing the end of their baking time, you won’t have a problem with over-baking. Speaking of baking, these muffins smell fantastic while they’re in the oven. You can really smell the brown sugar as it starts to caramelize a little bit in the oven, and the ginger and oatmeal come through, as well. Fortunately, you only have to let the muffins cool for 20 minutes or so to let them firm up a bit before having one yourself.
Ginger and Pear Oatmeal Muffins
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 large pears (or 3 small) cut in 1/2-in pieces, approx 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar and egg until well-combined. Whisk in 1/3 of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk. Add in the vanilla extract.
Whisk in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the buttermilk. Whisk in remaining flour. Stir in the oatmeal.
Fold in diced pears and candied ginger until they are well-distributed.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. The batter should fill each cavity all the way to the top, so don’t worry about over-filling the pan.
Bake for 19-22 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.