Pear, Chocolate & Ginger Muffins
Delicious, easy-to-make muffins featuring seasonal pears – to be enjoyed any time of the day!
MARK STOWER, DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND SERVICE
- Preparation time: 20 mins
- Cooking time: 25 mins
- Serves: 12
Poach the pears – peel the pears, slice into quarters, lengthways and remove the core. Place into a small saucepan with the water, caster sugar and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 8-10 minutes until the pear is tender. Remove the pears from the syrup, allow the pears to cool, then finely slice.
Make the muffin batter – in a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the caster sugar until light and airy. Now add the vegetable oil and milk – whisk to combine.
Sift the flour and ground ginger into the batter, add the chopped stem ginger, ¾ of the chocolate chips and combine all the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix.
Line a 12-hole deep muffin tin with the paper muffin cases. Divide the batter, evenly into the muffin cases and top with the sliced pear and the remaining chocolate chips.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C/gas 6 for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden.
Leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tin, then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Mark’s yummy muffin recipe this month uses a great combination of ingredients, and chocolate and ginger work well with pears.
- Ginger is the rhizome (root) of a colourful flowering plant that grows in the Caribbean, Africa, China, India, and Australia, in the same botanical family as turmeric and cardamom. About half the world’s ginger crop is produced by India and China.
- It is thought that ginger was one of the first spices to reach Europe, arriving in Ancient Greece and Rome from Asia in around the fourth century BC in dried and preserved form and eventually spreading around the world on the spice route – the network of sea routes that linked the Ancient eastern and western worlds – a distance of over 15,000 kilometres.
- Traditionally, ginger has been used as a medicine in many cultures, especially as a remedy for stomach problems, including indigestion and nausea. The nutritional contribution of ginger is minimal because we use the root or dried spice in small quantities.
- However, there is an increasing emphasis on consuming more plant-based ingredients to help support a healthy gut, and ginger root counts as one of those ingredients when used in stir-fries and curries.
- Powdered and preserved stem ginger is used in sweet recipes, such as these muffins, but with a flavouring role rather than a healthy ingredient.
- Pears are a good source of fibre, especially if eaten with the peel, and many of the nutrients lie close to the skin. They are a useful source of vitamin C.
DR JULIET GRAY, NUTRITIONIST