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Pear Gingerbread Muffins

While our holiday celebrations will likely look different this year, we see an opportunity to create new traditions! Look no further than your Perfectly Imperfect Produce delivery to inspire you to get cooking together in the kitchen and to discover a new favorite recipe. This week's recipe is an updated Christmas classic to make good use of the beautiful red and green pears we rescued.



Baking a batch of these Pear Gingerbread Muffins would be a really simple way to add a bit of sweetness to your holiday mornings. The combination of molasses, lots of warm spices like ginger and cloves, and a Perfectly Imperfect pear guarantees these whole grain muffins are full of flavor with a tender crumb. Don’t worry if your Perfectly Imperfect pear isn’t quite ripe. This recipe works best with a firm pear. Like grated carrot, grated firm pear adds just the right amount of moisture to keep these muffins soft.



You’ll only need about 15 minutes of active time and one bowl to whip up a batch. To achieve a beautiful high-domed muffin, bake them at a higher temperature for 5 minutes and then drop the temp for the remaining bake time as instructed below. To make them even more festive, dust with powdered sugar after they’ve cooled and just before serving.



Pear Gingerbread Muffins


Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins


Ingredients:

1 cup plain 2% or whole milk Greek yogurt

¼ cup avocado oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)

½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 firm Perfectly Imperfect pear, peeled and coarsely grated (about 1 cup)

1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled

Raw sugar or decorating sugar, optional



Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.


In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, molasses, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the grated pear until well combined, then stir in the flour until it just disappears into the batter. Resist the urge to keep stirring as overmixing can cause muffins to be dense.


Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan (they will be nearly full). Sprinkle each with some raw sugar or decorating sugar if you like crunchy muffin tops!



Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then adjust oven temperature to 375 degrees (without opening the door) and continue to bake for 11-13 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm or cool completely on a wire rack before storing. Keep in an air-tight container for 2 days, then transfer any leftovers to the fridge. To help keep the muffins fresh, line the container with paper towels and loosely cover muffins with another paper towel before securing the lid.


How are you using this week's produce in your holiday celebrations? We'd love to see! Be sure to snap a pic, post and tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce so we can share your creations to inspire others. Happy Holidays, PIP family!



By Carolyn Hodges, MS, RDN, LD




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