Sous Chef Reports: Fresh Pear Muffins

20 01 2010

Double file line.

Apparently, I like to bake now. Who would have guessed? I especially like to bake when the Chef is out of town, because I actually have a ton of downtime in my own apartment that I can spend on baking.

Also, I’ve got Smitten Kitchen in my Google Reader, and everything I bookmark from that blog is a sugary food of some kind.

Local pears from the neighborhood farmer's market.

This pear bread recipe was one I knew I wanted to try as soon as possible. Obviously bananas are NOT grown here, and as it’s winter, the whole fruit thing is pretty sparse – just tons of pears and apples at the farmer’s market, and a stack of satsumas at the grocery store. I picked up four pears one weekend and put them in the fridge as prep for my 3 day weekend without the Chef.

The recipe was incredibly easy to put together – the most difficult part is grating the pears. My pears were probably a bit more firm than they should have been, but that may have also made them easier to grate.

The recipe called for 2 cups of grated pears - I threw in a little extra.

You’re also supposed to peel the pears before you cut them, which I of course forgot on the first one, and begrudgingly did with the rest. I have a tendency to not a) wash or b) peel most fruits or vegetables. For some reason it feels like unnecessary, painful effort. But, I reminded myself what the Chef said, which is that you should follow a recipe to the letter at least once, to give it a chance to be good on it’s own – and after that you can tweak it to your tastes, if you want to.  So I heaved a heavy sigh to no one but myself, and peeled the pears. With a carrot peeler.

Later, I may or may not have accidentally doubled the amount of cinnamon in the recipe, which started a great conversation on Facebook about whether or not you can actually have too much cinnamon, or if there’s no such thing.  (Cinnamon, incidentally, is actually really good for you. Several days after all this went down I was in the drugstore buying vitamin D and saw you can actually buy cinnamon pills.)

As you can see, I didn't exactly make "bread".

Since I’m – as I said before – totally new to this interest-in-baking thing, I have very few actual baking accoutremants. I have zero bread pans (although I picked up the pretty pan Smitten Kitchen uses at Goodwill this weekend), but I recently acquired two muffin tins from the remains of my paternal grandparents’ things, and decided that would do – reminding myself to adjust baking time to accommodate different size/thickness of pan. (Woo! Learning is fun!)

They turned out fantastic. If there is such a thing as too much cinnamon, this ain’t it. They have the same texture and “vibe” of banana bread (if that makes sense) but with a delicious pear twist.

Voila!

Having these guys around for breakfast this weekend has been brilliant, and I’m heavily considering doing some kind of baking endeavor every weekend that could provide me with easy,  carb-based breakfast throughout the week. (I’m also kind of excited to try out the new pan!)

The rest of a sliced pear went into the blender the next day with some yogurt, a handful of blueberries, and two chocolate strawberries. I am never returning the Chef’s Magic Bullet blender.

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One response

21 01 2010
CN Heidelberg

I like to bake too. Sadly I don’t feel the same way about cooking. :( Or shoving 4.5 cups of vegetables and fruits into every single day. Or other healthy things.

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