Brandied pear and honey muffins

A pair of pears sitting in my fruit bowl compelled me to search for an interesting looking pear muffin recipe, and this one certainly caught my eye. Booze in muffins sounded like a brilliant idea, as did the inclusion of honey (all things I thoroughly enjoy).

Recipe
from 750 Best Muffin Recipes
Makes 12 

Topping
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/3 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup brandy
1-1/2 cups chopped peeled pears

Topping: In a smal bowl, combine walnuts, brown sugar and flour. Drizzle with butter, then mix until mixture resembles large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Muffins: Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, honey and butter until well blended. Whisk in milk and brandy until well blended. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in pears. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 24 to 28 minutes, or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes then transfer to the rack to cool.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: Bizarrely, we were out of milk, so I ended up using mostly cream cut with a couple tbsp of water. We also ran out of straight liquid honey, so I supplemented with honey that had honeycomb mixed in. Two pears were enough for 1-1/2 cups worth of chopped pear. The recipe actually didn’t specify when to put on the topping, so I assumed it would go on after you distributed the batter amongst the muffin cups and before you put it in the oven.

This recipe resulted in super tasty muffins! The muffin itself had a delightfully creamy texture which was offset nicely by the crunchy texture of the topping. You couldn’t really taste the brandy, perhaps not surprisingly, but the recipe itself noted that the inclusion of brandy was primarily supposed to elevate the flavours of pear and honey. The muffins were pleasantly sweet (though not overly so) and moist. Though I think I need to really layer on the topping in the future, as the crumble topping spreads out as the muffin top expands, so there were small gaps between crumble bits. Otherwise, a muffin success, I say!

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