I’ve been posting more pastry recipes than usual here lately. No heavy hitters, like crème brûlée (you can typically find me making those at work). When I’m home, I like to bake simple. When I’m not tasked with blind-baking 8 tarts or 32 perfectly set butterscotch pots de crème, I take it easy. Granola, quick breads, healthy-ish muffins – not exactly French pastry, but in real life most people aren’t (and quite frankly, shouldn’t be) eating croissants everyday.
These hazelnut-pear muffins have been in my mental recipe file for awhile. You know when you see a recipe, and then all of a sudden, you see it everywhere? That seemed to be the case with the hazelnut/pear combination. I didn’t want a sugary cake-like muffin, rather I was going for something a bit more wholesome (does that word even exist anymore?) I eschewed my brown butter tendencies in lieu of coconut oil and a generous pour of pure maple syrup. A couple bruised red pears perked right up when folded into the dark, spiced batter. Lemon zest is the secret here. I used Meyer lemon, which has a hint of tangerine flavor, and that bit of citrus added the right amount of interest. Don’t skip the sprinkle of crunch, either. Fish around in your pantry for something, anything, crunchy. Seeds, nuts, grains, they it all add much-needed texture.
These muffins are not flaky French croissants, but they make an excellent late-night or morning snack. Perfect for fueling me through a marathon tart-making session.
Toasted Hazelnut-Pear Muffins
I love these not-too-sweet muffins with a almond-milk latte or cup of tea.
Makes 6 muffins (recipe doubles easily)
- Nonstick baking spray
- ¾ cup hazelnut meal*
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour**
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch ground cardamom (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (try Meyer lemon)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted if solid
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons milk (any type, I used a vanilla almond milk)
- 2 medium ripe pears, cored and diced into 1/2″ thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons raw amaranth, millet, quinoa, ground flax, rolled oats, hazelnut meal, chia or a combination
*Bob’s Red Mill makes a great hazelnut meal. If you’d rather, try making your own by grinding hazelnuts in a food processor until powdery (don’t go too far or you’ll get hazelnut butter!)
**While I haven’t tested it, I expect you could swap in a gluten-free all-purpose flour here. I like Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup.