These muffins keep stealing my pear butter

You know that pear butter I made a week or two ago? It’s gone, baby, gone.

{Film note/Aside: We had an Affleck mini film festival over the weekend. It’s Southie accents run amok at our place right now. You’re so, so lucky I don’t have the patience to type things the way I’ve been pronouncing them. And I’m so, so lucky my husband puts up with my attempt to work ‘cah’ or ‘Hahvuhd’ into every other sentence. Even though the word Harvard probably isn’t spoken once in either Gone Baby Gone or The Town. Also, every time I say ‘cah’ we get off on a “Stop the cah, Cole. Stop the cah!” tangent. If my daughter doesn’t turn out schizophrenic, it will be a small miracle.}

Where were we?

muffins.meet.ganacheSpeckled muffins, about to receive a crumb coating of bittersweet ganache/mousse/whatever.

My favorite thing about being gluten free is the inherent multi-graininess of it all. As I’ve become familiar with different grains, I’ve learned which ones pair best with each other, with stone fruits, with chocolate, or with absolutely nothing at all. Kamut, I’m talking to you. 

multigraininessKamut free.

These muffins are the perfect blend of almond and corn and sorghum and oats, rounded out with turbinado sugar, dark chocolate and sage-infused pear butter.

gf.multigrain.perfection.muffins

appeasing.the.gargoyleWe always offer this fella a bite. He’s super impressed with the crumb of these muffins.

Multi-grain pear & chocolate chunk muffins

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Any fruit purée or butter will work for these, but in my house it’s almost always pear butter. Pumpkin is a very close second. Adapted a zillion times over from this recipe, which Celine adapted from here after I sent her some pear butter.

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2/3 Cup sweet sorghum flour
2/3 Cup almond meal
2/3 Cup potato starch
1/3 Cup steel cut oats
1/2 Cup cornmeal
1 Cup almond milk
1/4 Cup sunflower oil
1/2 Cup turbinado sugar
1 Cup pear butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 small (1.5-2 oz) dark chocolate bar, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C with a rack positioned in the center. Line 16 standard muffin cups with paper liners, or lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray without paper liners, for 14 standard muffins.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, almond meal, potato starch, steel cut oats and cornmeal.

In a medium bowl, combine milk, oil, sugar, pear butter, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple cider vinegar.

Stir wet ingredients into dry. Fold in chocolate.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 14 muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 22-24 minutes

Rule breaker // Super fluffy gluten free buckwheat pear pancakes

You know how most book lovers have certain things they just will not tolerate? At least one of these things usually makes its way onto a bibliophile’s Do Not Do list: Dog-earing corners; placing down an open book with its spine facing up instead of using a bookmark; using inappropriate items to mark your place; writing in a book.

For me, not writing in books was a steadfast rule. For thirty-odd years, I wouldn’t so much as pencil my name inside the cover of a book. All of that changed when I found out I was allergic to wheat, and suddenly realized that almost none of my favorite recipes were wheat/gluten free. I attempted rewriting every single recipe out in my own hand. But then – well, have you seen my handwriting?

editsMost of my favorite cookbooks now look like this.

Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, and definitely my favorite one to bake from. I bought it while I was still figuring out whether my issues were with wheat or all things gluten, and as a result I got into the habit of adapting most of this books’s recipes to be gluten free. (And vegan.)

buckwheat.pear.pancakes buckwheat.pear.pcakes.crossectionlots of height and a tender crumb, all done without gluten, xanthan gum or powdered egg replacer

Buckwheat cornmeal pear pancakes

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I think these taste best if you use vegan butter in the batter, but they also taste pretty good if you use coconut oil. They hold their height and crumb after they’ve cooled, and reheat well the next day. You can eat them folded up taco-style around a few strips of tempeh bacon, or stacked up and drizzled with maple syrup. Most of the time, I serve them with whatever fruit didn’t make it into our morning smoothie.

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Coconut oil or vegan butter, for the pan

Dry mix:
1/3 Cup buckwheat flour
1/3 Cup fine grain cornmeal
1/3 Cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt

Wet mix:
1 Tablespoon unsalted vegan butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 Cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon flaxseed, ground (grind after measuring)
1 Tablespoon very hot water
1 medium pear, ripe but firm, peeled

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Whisk the melted butter, soy milk, and apple cider vinegar until thoroughly combined. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the whole peeled pear into the batter; the juice should also fall into the bowl. Gently fold the grated pear into the batter. The batter should be slightly thick, with flecks of pear throughout.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter or coconut oil, to ensure crisp, buttery edges. Working quickly, dollop 1/4 Cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth as needed before griddling additional batches. If the pan is too hot or not hot enough, adjust the flame accordingly. Repeat until all of the batter is gone.

Be sure to ‘test’ the first one out of the griddle; they disappear fast.

Yield: 6-7 pancakes

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Kitchen garden + a really small batch pear butter recipe

 

 

 

purslane Gargoyles-eye-viewThis summer, Nina tried her hand at potting up herbs and ornamentals. Over a dozen pots are scattered in and around our kitchen garden, transforming it into our new happy place. // Gargoyle’s eye view.
lunchOn weekends, she’ll pack herself a lunch and hang out on the steps, hoping to catch a blue-tailed skink.
purple.peppersThere is a baby skink curled up in this pot, under the doreanthus!
white.pepper.sage.pearbutter
Every time I make this it turns out a different color. This batch was a pale gold.

Sage and white pepper-infused pear butter

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You’ll want enough chopped pears to fill your slow cooker one-half to three-quarters of the way up; four or five pears are a perfect fit for my 2-quart slow cooker. When I make this for my family, I just tuck the sage and peppercorns into the pot and strain them out later. (Or not – the peppercorns are really pretty when the sink to the bottom of a jar.) If I’m making it as a gift, I bundle them in muslin or gauze. Also, I think rosemary (with the pepper) or lavender (without) would taste wonderful in place of the sage.

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4-5 pears, any variety
juice of 1 lemon wedge
3-4 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon white or mixed peppercorns, or 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon muscovado or dark brown sugar

Peel, core and chop your pears. Add the chopped pears into the slow cooker, squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top, tuck your sage and peppercorns in the middle and sprinkle your sugar over it all. Set the slow cooker to low and cover. Check every thirty minutes or so, smashing the pears around with a wooden spoon as they soften. When your pears have the consistency of applesauce, vent the lid and continue cooking until thickened, stirring every so often to prevent sticking or scorching. When the pears are done cooking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before you strain and transfer to glass jars.

Yield: 1 Cup

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 2-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker