Pumpkin Pear Spice Muffins


I am thoroughly enjoying the fall produce I am finding at the local street markets and in our grocery stores. Winter squash, chestnuts, mushrooms, and greens of every description can be found everywhere here in Umbria. Pumpkin has become a particular favorite, if not obsession and I seem to be making pumpkin “something” on a daily basis. These pumpkin pear muffins turned out particularly well so I know I will be making them frequently in the future. they are extremely moist and not too sweet, and the pear compliments the pumpkin flavor perfectly.

To make my pumpkin puree I first slice my fresh pumpkin into pieces, remove the seeds and fleshy bits, then cut the pumpkin into 4 inch pieces. I then lay the pumpkin onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast it for about 30 to 45 minutes (depending on hardness) until it is fork tender. Once cooled I scoop out the flesh and puree it then place it in a sieve over a bowl to allow the excess liquid to drain out. The remaining pumpkin puree is now ready for using into any recipe needed. Of course, for this recipe you can always use canned pumpkin, but we do not have that available here in Umbria.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

A lovely treat for fall using fresh pumpkin and spices.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Cooked or Canned Pumpkin Puree (See Above)
  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seed Oil
  • 2 Cups Finely Chopped Fresh Pears, Peeled & Cored First

Topping: (Optional)

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, soda, spices and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and oil.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and with a wooden spoon gently mix together.
  5. Fold in the chopped pear.
  6. Fill 12 lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
  7. If using topping, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle some on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool and serve.