Muffins are a favorite of mine. Simple ingredients are mixed with fruit and in less than thirty minutes home-baked-happiness-happens.
These vanilla pear muffins are a delicious riff on a great recipe I found on allrecipes website. Instead of yogurt, I use creme fraiche, giving them a welcome French twist. If you can't find creme fraiche, sour cream would work too. I find creme fraiche at Trader Joe's. The muffins bake up golden brown and so moist. The vanilla really works with the pears. They're my new favorite.
French Vanilla Pear Muffin Recipe
Some Notes & Tips Makes 12 Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes Vanilla Pear Muffins
I'd suggest using a firm but ripe large pear here, not a mushy one. This way the muffins will be nicely studded with pieces of pear.
Make sure your baking powder is fresh. The fresher the powder, the better the muffins.
I use my vanilla sugar in this recipe, which makes them taste warm and wonderful. White sugar is just fine too. The vanilla sugar recipe is below the muffin recipe.
They freeze well. Just pop in the microwave directly from the freezer to have for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Ingredients For The Muffins
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup my vanilla sugar (recipe below) or regular white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup corn oil
1 large egg
2 1/2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract
1 large pear, peeled, cored and diced
Instructions For The Muffins
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin cup pan with a little butter or spray with baking spray.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix the creme fraiche, corn oil, egg and vanilla extract until combined. Add the diced pears and stir again. Stir the creme fraiche mixture into the flour mixture until the batter is just combined. Don't overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake the muffins until they're golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. They should take about 18-25 minutes to bake. Serve them warm and enjoy!
I've been making this natural vanilla sugar for years. It's deliciously easy! I always keep it in my kitchen. Stir it into coffee. Use it in baked goods or sprinkle on fresh fruit.
Whole vanilla beans infuse the sugar with divine aroma and taste. The sugar becomes a sweet handmade gift when placed in a nostalgic mason jar and tied with a pretty gingham ribbon. Vanilla sugar and pink gingham, what's not to love? The vanilla sugar recipe is adapted from Jacques Pepin's
Cookbook, Essential Pepin.
DIY Homemade Vanilla Sugar
Makes 4 Cups
Put 4 cups of natural cane sugar or white sugar or a mix of both in a bowl. Take 3 whole vanilla beans and with the tip of a knife split the vanilla beans open lengthwise. Scrape the teeny tiny black seeds from the inside of the vanilla beans. Place the soft seeds and the split beans in the sugar. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container. You can use the sugar at this point or continue on to step two.
Once the beans are dried in the sugar (this may take a few weeks), remove them and grind them up in a food processor or spice grinder to a fine powder and place the ground beans back into the sugar. Mix to combine. You don't have to do this step, but it does add more delicious vanilla flavor to the sugar.
Wash and dry one small, 4-inch tall mason jar. Fill the jar with the homemade vanilla sugar. Secure the lid. Cut some pink gingham ribbon. I used Offray brand ribbon. Tie the ribbon around the mason jar in a small bow. Voila! Instant homemade gift! You can also make more than one of these to give as Valentine's Day gifts to your sweeties.