Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pear/Mango/Candied Ginger and Pecan Muffins

In Japan some forty years ago, I acquired two 6-cup Joyful Muffins Pans. Check out the photo below. Don’t you love it? I smile every time I reach for them. These muffins are really nice. Even though they should be eaten the same day they’re baked, I found that splitting them in half and toasting them in the toaster oven allowed me continue eating them for days and days. Almost all 18.

½ cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups unbleached flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup diced dried pears, mangoes, candied ginger or a mixture
Note: I especially like some candied ginger in the mix, but then I love candied ginger.
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter or spray the tops and cups of a 12-cup muffin pan or two 6-cup pans.
Note: This recipe turned out to make 18 muffins in my smaller Joyful muffin pans (see photo below). So be aware that you may need another 6-cup pan unless your pans are bigger than mine.
2. In a 2-cup or larger measuring pitcher, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until blended.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add the salt and sugars to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter or your fingers until it is the size of small peas. Mix in the dried fruits and pecans.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently combine, taking care not to over mix the batter.
5. Fill the prepared muffin tins until the batter just peeks over the top of the pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown, firm and springy. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins onto a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12-18 muffins depending on the size of your muffin pans
Adapted from The Cheese Board Collective’s The Cheese Board Collective Works

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