Along with citrus, one of my favorite winter fruits is the coy, almost coquettish, Anjou pear. Demure, capricious, and ever so subtle, this fickle fruit slips from rock-hard bitter to grainy bruises in just the blink of a wandering eye. You must be attentive with this one, coaxing even, waiting patiently for the tell-tale blush. And if you can catch that window of edible opportunity . . . pure joy.
The foundation of this recipe comes from the William-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook, which was – you guessed it – a wedding gift. Of course, the book is heavy with white flour, eggs and dairy, but no worries – baked goods are easy enough to tidy up and veganize. A little tinkering here and there, and a much healthier, yet equally delicious muffin is born.
Winter is wrapping up and that means the Anjous are on their way out. If you’ve been looking for the perfect recipe to cap your kitchen’s annual affair with this sumptuous pear, I strongly suggest these delightful morning goodies. They sure passed the husband test here at HQ!
2 tablespoons finely ground flax meal
6 tablespoons water
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bran
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 firm but ripe pears, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix together the ground flax and the water in a small bowl, and refrigerate. Mix the soy milk with vinegar in another small bowl, and set aside to curdle.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, agave, oil, vanilla, flax mixture, and soy milk mixture. Combine wet with dry and stir until just moistened – do not over mix. Fold in the pears (and walnuts), taking care not to break up the fruit.
Lightly grease a large 6-cup or a regular 12-cup muffin tin and spoon in the batter, evenly distributed. Top with brown sugar and cinnamon, if you wish. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes, or when a knife comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Serve warm with Earthbalance™ for maximum yumminess!