These easy muffins were inspired by our trip to Paris. Everyday we would walk by a tiny bakery that only sold fresh made muffins. We tried lots of them, but our favorite combined vanilla, spices and fresh pear. This is our attempt at recreating them in our own kitchen.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce or pear sauce
1 to 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced, for muffin tops
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, for muffin tops
Position an oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin pan or line with paper cups.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and brown sugar until blended. Stir in the melted butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy.
Stir in the applesauce, then fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined.
Divide batter among muffin cups then lightly push a few slices of pear into the top of each muffin. Sprinkle tops with a dusting of vanilla sugar.
Bake the muffins until risen and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.