our own giving tree

The old pear tree has been calling our names this fall…wondering, we think, why we continue to let it bend over, burdened with the weight of those big country pears. And now it’s mid October and we’ve hardly picked any, except for those we’ve given to friends for their annual canning jamborees. That old tree has become our friend. It was here long before us and will probably be here long after we’re gone – faithfully producing an abundant amount of fruit each year, so much so that the neighbors often speak fondly of it. Today, we couldn’t bear to look at those lingering, lonely pears any longer, hanging high up beyond our reach, so I went out and shook  the branches hard (being careful not to get beaned on the head in the process!). And then we sat in the kitchen and played around with this little recipe to honor our noble tree. Tomorrow morning we’re having coffee with “Doc Pope,” a professor emeritus at JSU and one of the first friends we made out here (ironically her youngest son was one of Adrian’s favorite teachers at Grady High School in Atlanta), and I’ll bring Margaret some of these breakfast treats. Then maybe we’ll stop by Patsy’s on the way home and drop a few off for her, too. And since we’re spreading delight from our “giving tree,” we thought it’d be nice to also share some with you – well, in a recipe at least. 🙂 Here’s our Friendship Pear Muffins.

muffins

Friendship Pear Muffins

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon honey

1 small lowfat vanilla yogurt (6 oz)

1/4 cup lowfat milk

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups finely diced peeled pear

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

To Make:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put chopped almonds in food processor and grind until fine. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into large bowl. Add ground almonds, stir well and set aside. Mix together brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the turbinado sugar, canola oil, vanilla/almond extracts, honey, yogurt, milk and egg into small bowl. Add to flour mixture and fold in diced pear. (If batter is too dry, add a little more milk.) Spoon batter into paper muffin cups/muffin tin. Sprinkle tops lightly with remaining 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Bake for 4-5 minutes at 425 degrees (this helps set the muffin tops), then reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 10-12 minutes, or until muffins spring back lightly to the touch. Remove muffins from tin immediately and continue cooling them on a counter or cooling rack. Enjoy – and be sure to share leftovers with friends and neighbors!

Makes 12-16 muffins

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

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