Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pear Muffins, Wheat-Free

Yes, I know I've recently done gooseberry muffins, but these are a different kettle of fish. Ran out of plain wheat-free flour so used self-raising. If plain flour is used, an extra teaspoon of baking powder should balance things out.

As can be seen in the picture, they look more like rock cakes although the texture is softer than that. Should have smoothed the dough before baking. Taste great, though, and it's hard to believe they've no wheat content.

This recipe makes about 16 muffins. I used my 12 silicone cases and 4 paper variety. When they came out of the oven, the silicone ones just floated out, while the paper had to be peeled off carefully to avoid crumbling.

Pear Muffins, Wheat-Free
These need the middle shelf of the oven, at 170C, and muffin cases set out on a baking tray.

270g wheat-free self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
Half teaspoon salt
80g granulated sugar
350g ripe pears (about 3 medium), cored, peeled and chopped fairly finely
1 egg
100ml milk
50g melted butter
1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)

1  In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and sugar.
2  Add the chopped pears and mix them in to coat with flour.
3  In a smaller bowl, beat the egg, milk and melted butter lightly together, then stir into
         the flour mixture to form a soft dough with no dry flour visible.
4  Fill each muffin case to half or three-quarter level, making sure each has some pear
         pieces, and smooth over!
5  Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes or until a skewer poked through comes out clean.
6  Sprinkle with the caster sugar if used, and leave on a rack to cool.

I'm thinking that, as xanthan gum isn't in everyone's kitchen, it would probably be OK to leave it out. However, it's trailed as helpful to make a decent spongy texture so I use it in all my wheat-free baking, just in case.

These muffins freeze well. Otherwise, if they've been around for a while, they'd be good crumbled as the base for a trifle, with vegetarian jelly poured over to set, topped with sliced ripe pears, then a thin layer of custard and finally whipped cream. For decoration I fancy honeycomb pieces or finely chopped gorgeous stem ginger.

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