Saturday, April 02, 2011

Hazelnut pear brown butter muffins

Fruits such as apples, pears and oranges might seem ordinary at first glance. After all, they are available almost any time of the year, and are readily available in most countries. However, if you dive into the world of fruits into details, there are actually quite a wide range of varieties for every single fruit. Take the humble pear for instance. Before I developed my passion for baking, I only knew of two kinds of pears - the ubiquitous green William pears, and the Asian pear. When my passion grew, I started taking note of fruits in a different light while grocery shopping. Pears come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours! Depending on the season, I might chance upon Anjous (red and green), Bosc, Forelles, Seckels, Korean pears, Bartletts and so on. My, my. I get excited whenever I spot a new variety of fruit in the supermarket aisle.

"Sugar" bowl

These adorable little ones are known as "Sugar pears", as written on the box, and it smelled so intoxicating through the little gaps in the packaging that I couldn't resist them. I did try, I walked away from them, but just before I finished my grocery shopping, it sorta had a magnetic pull on me. I swear it was them and not me. I found myself right beside them again, and before I knew it, I was at the check out counter making payment for a box of these. 

A while back, I saw a recipe for a pear and vanilla muffin. I decided to adapt the recipe slightly to suit what I had in mind.
Hazelnut pear brown butter muffins

The muffins were a little moist for my liking, perhaps my amendments made it so? But cos I froze the majority of the batch, and when I defrosted them, I like to microwave it for half a minute (to defrost) and then toast it in the toaster for a few minutes to make it crispy again (and also to remove some excess moisture). They tasted slightly less moist that way, and I paired it with some cherry jam on the side. The overall combination of flavours was pretty good. ^^

Hazelnut pear brown butter muffins (adapted from here)
makes 12 muffins

100g wholewheat flour
70g hazelnut flour
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
200g brown sugar
150g unsalted butter, melted and browned
1 cup unsweetened mixed apple and pear puree
1 – 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced (I used 4-5 mini sugar pears)
vanilla sugar

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then add the browned butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in the apple pear puree, then fold in the flour mixture until just moistened. Divide batter among muffin cups, then lightly push thin slices of pear into the top of the filled muffin cups and sprinkle with some vanilla sugar. Bake the muffins until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.


  1. hehe looks so cool! these pears have been recently on the market where I live. on the box it says paradise pears haha. not sure if they're the same type though but they have the same colour and they are really tiny.

  2. oh! hmmm on second thought, shucks i cant rmb clearly if they are sugar pears or paradise pears...i just rmbed they sound totally quirky. perhaps paradise? oh i dont know! lols. ^^

  3. Hello,

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  4. Ooooohhhh...another recipe for me to bookmark! I love the nut-brown butter-and pear combo!


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