So remember what I said about pears, and how I was mehhh about them until I tried poaching them? And now here I am making muffins with them and doing that whole "stepping out of your comfort zone" thing. Like, who am I and what have I done to that girl who didn't like pears??
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the texture of raw pears will forever weird me out. There's something going on there; it's like they can't decide if they want to be crispy or soft, and I just don't get it. On the other hand, when you cook pears, it's a whole different thing. They turn into tender, juicy bites of cozy fall fruitiness, the kind that beg to be mixed with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg in a nutty, crumb-topped muffin. Yes yes yes.
Also, can we just agree that everything involving a crumb topping instantly becomes that much better? Therefore, a crunchy, brown sugar and toasted pecan crumb topping on pear and pecan-studded muffins is ab-so-lut-ely a good thing. They bake up into tender, nutty little whole wheat breakfast treats, not too sweet but with enough of that gorgeous crumb topping to make the whole thing feel a little more special - perfect for a cool fall morning with a hot cup of coffee. Weekend breakfast DONE.
Pear-Pecan Crumb Muffins (dairy-free option*)
Cinnamon and nutmeg spice up this cozy fall muffin, sprinkled with a sweet and crunchy, pecan-studded crumb topping.
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- 1 ¾ ounces (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons, packed brown sugar
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) pecans, toasted** and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted*
- 1 ounce (¼ cup, spoon and level) whole wheat flour
- 6 ⅜ ounces (1 ½ cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 4 ¼ ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (½ cup) coconut oil, room temperature
- 5 ¼ ounces (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb ⅝ ounce (3 ½ cups) peeled and chopped pears, divided*** (I used Green Anjou)
- 2 ⅛ ounces (¼ cup) almond milk (or regular milk, for non dairy-free)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (1 cup) pecans, toasted** and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter (or coconut oil) and mix in until incorporated. Add the flour and fold in until all ingredients are evenly combined. Use hands to clump into a ball. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar until creamy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, until each is fully incorporated.
- In a blender, purée 7 ⅛ ounces (1 ½ cups) chopped pears with milk until smooth. Whisk into the wet ingredients. (The batter may start to look odd or curdled at this point; it will go back to normal once you add the dry ingredients.) Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until almost evenly incorporated. Add the remaining 9 ½ ounces (2 cups) chopped pears and pecans and fold in just until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepare muffin tin, dividing evenly among each muffin cup and smoothing out the tops lightly with your fingertip if needed. Break ball of crumble mixture into crumbs (keeping some big) and sprinkle evenly over muffins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for a day or two, or in the refrigerator for longer storage.
*To make these dairy-free, you can replace the butter in the crumb topping with coconut oil.
**To toast pecans, spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes, until fragrant.
***I'd suggest using pears that are on the firm side for these muffins, so they don't make the muffins overly moist.