Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pear, Pecan & Double Ginger Muffins

I am a big fan of muffins, especially when you can incorporate seasonal fruit.  With new research enlightening us everyday to the benefits of whole grain flours,  we now have many more 'good for us' options than the old standby - all purpose flour.  When I discovered two large and very ripe pears in the refrigerator yesterday, I started wondering what tasty tidbit I could produce. 
Nigella's recipe for Pear Ginger Muffins inspired me, but it needed some changes and additions for my liking.  First my book..nuts belong in everything.  I changed the oil and nixed the extra brown sugar sprinkled on top.  Doubled the ginger, by adding crystallized ginger, (we are also hearing more about the health benefits of ginger.) Then there is the flour, I replaced nearly half of the all purpose with quinoa flour.  And lastly, the sour cream.  I have been substituting Yochee for sour cream for the past several years. 

Yochee is yogurt cheese and can be used as a substitute for cream cheese, mayonnaise or sour cream and is lower in fat.  My yochee maker is Donvier by Cuisipro.  I can fit nearly all of a 32 ounce container of plain yogurt into the metal strainer that sits inside this plastic container.  I snap the lid on and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  As the whey is drained off in the strainer, the remaining curds become a thick cheese-like spread. It reduces down to about 2 cups.  Pour out the liquid and place the spread in tupperware for up to two weeks.

Pear, Pecan & Double Ginger Muffins
1 C all purpose flour
3/4 C quinoa flour
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbl ground crystallized ginger 
2/3 C yochee or sour cream
1/2 C canola oil
1 Tbl honey
2 large eggs
2 C peeled and chopped pear - 1/4" dice
1 C toasted  chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk the yochee, honey, oil and eggs in a small bowl and then fold this in to the dry ingredients.  
Lastly, mix in the pear and pecans, then evenly divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake 20 minutes and remove muffins to a cooling rack.  
 They are best slightly warm.

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