I haven’t seen these pears around in Singapore or Malaysia, but that might be because I seldom frequent the bigger supermarkets which tend to sell a greater variety of fruits. These pears are shaped like the Packham pears that we often see around, with a greenish-brown or dark brown skin (they become dark brown with spots when they ripen) and their flesh can be likened to a better version of Packham pears. Packham pears tend to be overly soft when ripe, with a nauseating sweetness (in my opinion), but Beurré Bosc pears have that balance just right. I was so enamoured by them that I finished the few pears I’d bought in Eveleigh, and went on to buy a whole tub of them for baking. They are the perfect combination of sweet and firm.
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup sour cream
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon, allspice and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and sour cream, followed by the oil and honey. Pour into the dry ingredients and combine until the dry ingredients are moistened. It is okay to have lumps in the batter.
- Add in the chopped pears and briefly fold the mixture to distribute the pears evenly. Spoon the batter into muffin cups.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In the meantime, cut the butter into the brown sugar and ground ginger, until you get ‘bread crumbs’. Sprinkle this over the tops of your muffins.
- Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until the tops are brown and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for another 10 minutes before consuming.
- Notes: Measurements are in cups because I actually did not have any weighing scale while I was in Australia and I survived by using just measuring cups and spoons – not that I liked it though – I still prefer my trusty electronic scale!
- Taste: Friends who tasted the muffins said that the ginger taste was not sufficiently pronounced and they preferred a spicier muffin. For myself, I thought the balance of pear and spice was just right as hints of the cinnamon and ginger are pretty obvious.
- Texture: The muffin tends to be on the moister side because of the chopped pears. You can reduce the amount of pears if you prefer more ‘cake’ than pears because these muffins were packed full of pears! The crumb topping is also a must, because it provides a nice juxtaposition against the moist and fine-textured muffin underneath.
- Storage: The muffin kept very well at room temperature (because it was winter) for a week! I also stored some in the fridge and they kept well for a fortnight – I zapped them in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm them before eating.
- Would I make this again?: Definitely – these muffins are a perfect winter treat as these pears are in season and they go perfect with mulled wine. For those in warmer climates, don’t write off these pear muffins because these definitely are not sold anywhere that I know of, and the combination of sweet/soft pear with the lightly spiced cake is just sublime.
|All the ingredients nicely laid out to be incorporated.|
|Adding the crumb topping|
|A close-up of the crumb topping – it’s really just crumbs – no need to combine any further!|
|I thought this picture provided pretty interesting shadows. What do you think?|