Monday, October 26, 2015

Asian Pear & Cardamom Cream Muffins #MuffinMonday

Asian Pear & Cardamom Cream Muffins #MuffinMonday

Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin. It's a wonderfully sweet treat to celebrate Fall and serve to your favorite book group!

Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin recipe.



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These muffins are a mouthful to describe, but once you get it all out there should be no further need for description. I'll tell ya how I came up with them, though, and share where I served them.
The common thread is BOOKS.


Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin recipe.


My mom went to college in Canada and learned Home Ec [or whatever they called it back in the 50s that became Home Ec in the 80s that has become Family and Consumer Science these days].
Two of my mom's college friends wrote a couple of cookbooks, including one on muffins: Muffins: A Cookbook by Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring (Amazon Affiliate link). My copy, handed down from my mom, is covered with her scribbles "too sweet" "make 10 next time" etc. It's where I turn when I have an idea for a muffin but want some back up that it will work.


Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin recipe.


I picked up some Asian pears because they looked interesting, and this is the time of year I'm getting a handle on the farm share produce and can actually lift my head up in the grocery store and look around [instead of making a head-down beeline for yet another gallon of milk]. We enjoyed a few Asian pears fresh, but I wanted to play.  I really don't know why I turned a Whole Wheat Applesauce muffin into these Asian Pear & Cardamom Cream muffins, but that's what happened.


Book group gathering in my living room. The dogs must have been outside.


I served these muffins to the women of my book group. We are a diverse bunch--united by a love of reading, a love of someone who at some point was in the military, and a possibly temporary geographic location of SW Ohio. Aside from that we're all different, and I love how varied our discussions become with each person sharing her perspective. It's good to hang out with people who are a different age than you, or don't have kids the same age as yours/don't have kids, or who don't hold the same job as you. And they are wonderful guinea pigs!


Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin recipe.


This is the last recipe I'm sharing from that one meeting at my house. Considering I'm hosting next month (we're reading Our Souls at Night and if my mom sends me the book in time I'll join in), I think I'm going to have future blog fodder (I'm already working up a braided sweet bread recipe). I've already shared my Slow Cooker Apple Chai for a Crowd, Roasted Sweet Potato and Turkey Sausage Breakfast Casserole, Cornbread, Roasted Chile and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole, and some other damn muffin that I can't remember right now. I make a lot of muffins, you see.




I'm glad to join in with my fellow #MuffinMonday bakers [who probably have a better handle on their muffin photos than I do].  #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.


Asian Pear & Cardamom Cream Muffins

This recipe is adapted from the Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins in Muffins, A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link). I swapped out the milk and used additional cream instead, swapped out the applesauce and used finely chopped Asian pears instead, cut down the brown sugar because I am my mom's daughter, spiced them with cardamom just because it's that time of year, and changed the baking temperature and time.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cream or half and half (I had cream on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg (the girls are laying very large eggs right now)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups (8½ ounces by weight) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
  • ½ an Asian pear, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously spray a mini muffin pan with vegetable oil spray or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together oil, cream, vanilla, egg, and brown sugar.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt until well blended.
  4. Dump the cream mixture into the flour and stir briefly.
  5. Dump the chopped pear into the rest and stir until just combined.
  6. Scoop into prepared pan. I use my cookie scoop for mini muffins--it holds about 1+½ Tablespoons.
  7. Bake mini muffins for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. 
  8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Cardamom-spiced Asian pear chunks fill this rich-with-cream whole wheat muffin recipe.


For more recipes using Asian pears . . . well, this is the first one. I suppose I'll lump it in with Pears in General, just to keep things consistent in the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. You can find my Pear Recipes Collection here, nestled in between Peaches and Peas because I am the type of person to get the produce first and then figure out what the heck to do with it. [Also, because I'm big on the alphabetization in an index.] Want to know How to Use This Blog? Click here.

12 comments:

  1. Looks like a great and diverse group, Kirsten. I am jealous. I used to belong to a book club back when I lived in Kuala Lumpur and I just haven't found anything like that here. Maybe I need to start my own! As for those muffins, they are inspired! I love how you can take what you've got and make something wonderful with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy,
      Bloom where you're planted! That phrase applies to the kitchen as well as everyday life I think. Must find the neat link I read about starting a book group . . . in the meantime.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Your muffins look lovely but I am very jealous that your hens are giving you large eggs. Mine aren't laying at all right now, they are molting. I actually had to go get some eggs from a friend to make my muffins this month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy,
      Let me correct--the girls who are laying very large eggs are not MY girls! They are my neighbor's coworker's girls. I'm not allowed to have girls here. But those girls sure are laying really large eggs right now, which is a nice change from when they were laying eggs outside of the coop. I'll happily forage for figs and pears, but not eggs.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Your muffins sound so delicious and I love what you turned that old recipe into. Asian pears are my favorite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen,
      Back in Virginia I used to shop often at a large Korean grocery store nearby. My first time trying Asian pears was when they had a case on special sale. Seeing the pears for sale while I lived in Japan, all wrapped up like a present and with a very dear price to go with that careful wrapping, was a big difference from the pile of pears at the local grocery!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. You've inspired me to search for a book club nearby. Your muffins look lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly,
      I recently read a lovely essay written by a woman who didn't feel a part of her community and started a book club, then reflected how much she'd integrated into her new home after a few years of her group. I'd link but I cannot find it. Great read.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. Pears in general makes sense since I would imagine you can often sub one for the other anyway. I want these muffins. I am loving this combination! Pinned! PS and I am jealous of your awesome book club!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,
      Thank you, next recipe index update these will get tucked into the Pear Recipe Collection page. In alphabetical order, of course!
      I'd invite you to join but we meet while you're sleeping!

      Delete
  6. You know I'm a sucker for fruit in muffins, especially semi-exotic fruit like Asian pears. Alright, I just wanted to say exotic. I love the muffins and I want in on this book club business. Would you be a dear and move a little closer to Cleveland?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      It's one morning a month, you could come visit? You'd fit in just fine, I think.

      Delete