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The Shaffer girls were all up by 5:15 this morning. I would blame the littlest Shaffer girl, but since she is sick, and that is the reason we were all up too early, I can hardly harbor cranky feelings for the poor little thing.

In the pre-dawn hours, sipping my green tea latte, with ‘The Lorax’ for background noise (It is Dr. Seuss’s birthday today after all), it seems as good a time as any to finally post these Ginger Pear Muffins.

I’ve made these several times to try out different ginger ratios. I wanted enough ginger flavor that you know they are ginger muffins yet not have it be so strong that it overpowers everything. I think this version is the best, but you can always adjust any of the ginger components to taste. There are three types in these muffins: ground, candied, and fresh. That’s mostly because I happened to have all three on hand to play with. Oh…and a friendly tip: Buy your candied ginger in bulk rather than in the spice jars. You’ll get a heck of a lot more for your money. You can usually find it in the Asian products section or specialty candy/nuts/dried fruits area of your grocery store.

In the process of trying out different versions I also made them once with the pretty pears on top, and twice without. They’re good either way. I’ve used both Bosc and Bartlett pears. Again…good either way. Use whatever kind you want, or are on sale, or make you happy, you get the idea!

Ginger Pear Muffins

makes 12 muffins – Modified from Vanilla Pear Muffins by Pastry Affair

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger (generous – better to go a little above the top than below it)
  • 1 rounded tsp grated fresh ginger (I use my microplane for this)
  • 1 cup applesauce, no sugar added
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted (you could substitute vegetable or canola oil if you don’t have the coconut oil on hand)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1-2 pears (You’ll need two if you are making the slices to go on top)

topping:

  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400*F. Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk all of the dry ingredients together. Stir in candied ginger and lemon zest.

Peal, core, and dice one of the pears. Stir gently into the dry ingredients so the pear is evenly coated.

In a medium bowl combine applesauce, fresh ginger, butter, coconut oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide mixture evenly among the muffin tins. If you are placing the pear slices on top, thinly slice the 2nd pear and place 3-4 slices atop each muffin. Sprinkle with sugar-spice mixture.DSC_0620Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I live at high altitude and 17 minutes is perfect.

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Every now and then you get a lovely pop of extra flavor when you bite into a piece of crystallized ginger! They are pretty enough to entertain with, to give as gifts, or you can simply enjoy one in the wee hours of the morning when you find yourself up far too early. 🙂

I like to eat them on this pretty plate that was brought to the states from Germany by one of my ancestors in the 1800’s. I almost never use it, but it somehow seems appropriate for enjoying an afternoon Ginger Pear Muffin with a cup of tea:DSC_0630

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