Featured Ingredient: Pears
Trendy exotic fruits come and go, by pears are always there when you need them. It seems a lot of people forget about pears when discussing healthy fruits. Yet, the humble pear is a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of dietary fiber with a single medium pear providing about 8 grams. Surveys suggest the average North American diet only contains about half the fiber experts recommend. So noshing on a pear for a mid-p.m. snack is a good way to get your daily quota.
Fall is the best time to find local pears that are hazardously juicy with an ambrosial buttery texture, just they way they should be. To determine if your pear is ready to bite into, gently press near the stem end. If it yields slightly, get noshing.
This muffin tin recipe is a riff on pear crumble. You can find graham crumbs at most supermarkets. Almonds can stand in for the walnuts if you fancy. Topped with some vanilla ice cream or coconut gelato, this delicious pear delight delivers a snappy finish to a hearty fall meal. The coconut gelato I used was from Roba Dolce and it is to-die-for. Grab it if you see it.
Upside Down Pear Crumbles
1/2 cup graham crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups diced pear (not need to peel)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
Juice of ½ lemon
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine graham crumbs, walnuts and maple syrup. Mix until everything is moist.
Divide graham mixture among 8 medium greased or paper lined muffin tins and press down until flat. In the same bowl, combine pear, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon juice.
Place and even amount of the pear mixture on top of the graham crust in each of the muffin cups. Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the fruit has softened and browned. Let cool before unmolding. To unmold, gently guide a butter knife around the edges of the muffin cups and lift carefully.