Pears + honey + fall spices = Honey Pear Spice Muffins! by Nikki

It's Autum... and time for muffins!

It’s Autum… and time for muffins!

It is officially Autumn. The seasons have changed from warm Summer sunshine to crisp, cool Fall mornings. It is the time of year when the pumpkins and other squash varieties show up in the grocery store. The farmer’s market is full of deep, rich colors as the end-of-summer growing season has been recently harvested and is now available for our purchasing! When the daylight hours grow shorter and the rain begins to fall, I crave time in my kitchen, and I crave muffins. I LOVE muffins!  Experimenting with my basic muffin recipe brings my taste buds (and my friends) a lot of joy! A little flour, a few spices, one egg and a variety of “fillings”, and you have got yourself a tasty baked treat.

Thanks for the pears friends...

Thanks for the pears friends…

I have a new teaching colleague on our Kindergarten team this year. I am really enjoying working with and getting to know T… as well as her husband and family! In the first few weeks of school, T showed up in my classroom with a handful of pears that her husband, D had stopped to pick while on a bike ride with their daughter. I always appreciate good, fresh fruit… and these pears were gladly accepted! Combined with honey, fall spices and my favorite baking ingredient- buttermilk, these pears turned my standby honey spice muffin recipe into a pear-y good experience. And with only a 1/2 cup of sugar (and a whole lot of honey), these muffins were sweet with a hint of spice… and the verdict was they were  oh, so, nice!

Pear-y delicious

Honey Pear Spice Muffins

dry ingredients: 2 cups spelt flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

wet ingredients: 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg, 1/4 cup butter (melted), 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup buttermilk

fruit: 1 cup pears (peeled and diced)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 375 degrees F and line a muffin tin with muffin papers, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients then set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well blended.

Pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.

Gently fold in the pears.

Spoon batter into the muffin cups until each is 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown or a knife comes out clean from the middle of the muffin.

Let cool for 5 minutes then serve warm with a pat of butter.

Store muffins in an air-tight tupperware for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months!

ENJOY!

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Pear-licious Crumble by Allison

I couldn’t resist these pears at the market. Their two-tone skin and crisp flesh made them a perfect for snacking on throughout the week as well as adding them to yogurt or on top of a salad. I had a few left at the end of the week and was craving a fall dessert. I put together my first gluten-free crumble and it turned out marvelous. I haven’t been able to put my hands on certified gluten-free oats here in the Czech Republic so instead I used gluten-free cereal biscuits from Schar and crushed them up to add to the texture.

These pears are beautiful, in fact, I could have done a still-life painting if I thought I could do their beauty justice.

So instead, I cleaned them, cored them and sliced the pears to make a mean crumble.

I thinly sliced the butter I had and added it to the top instead of cutting it into the dry mixture. It looks like quite a lot but in actuality it is almost 1/2 of what a normal crumble has in it. 

Into the oven for 4o minutes and the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves wafted through my apartment. As I sat near the window, I heard the leaves rustle in the wind and admired the colors of autumn. Soon the leaves will gone, but until then, I will enjoy my favorite season and so should you! Make this pear-licious crumble and savor the flavors of fall!

Gluten-free Pear-licious Crumble by Allison

Ingredients

3-4 crisp pears, cored and sliced

3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Marks and Spencers brand)

1/3 cup natural cane sugar

1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or equal parts of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, allspice and nutmeg)

4 gluten-free schar cereal biscuits, crushed

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter, sliced

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Fill a pie pan with sliced pears

Mix the gluten-free flour, cane sugar, spices, almonds, crushed biscuits and salt in a bowl and combine. Sprinkle over the sliced pears and add sliced pats of butter on top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on desired texture of fruit when cooked. Enjoy warm crumble with friends on a fall evening!