Of course, I just couldn’t let Feijoa season fly by and not make any muffins now could I? Our tree is years old but so small due to the fact that we live by the sea and our soil isn’t that great…Hmmm…I just realised the neighbour’s tree is huge! OK, the real reason is I’m a lousy gardener but for some reason for the last two years it has had giant Feijoas growing on it, as large as apples, so YAY!
I would never just sit down and eat a Feijoa by itself because even though I love my veggies and can easily go without meat, I’m not that keen on fruit. I do however love baking with them, their grittiness is just so tasty in muffins, loaves and cakes! Because of their tanginess, I think they’re best paired with something sweet like banana, chocolate and/or in this case, sweet preserved pears.
So, just like all my other sweet muffins, these are mixed with natural, unsweetened yoghurt so they are soft and tender and I’ve thrown in a little mixed spice in, to jazz them up a little…I hope you give them ago!
115 g /4 oz butter
½ cup castor sugar
2 large eggs (I use size 7’s)
2 cups standard flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 x 415 g / 14 ½ oz tin of pear halves
1 cup of peeled & chopped up feijoas
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened, natural yoghurt
Optional – 12 muffin cases or 6 large Texas size muffin cases
Makes 12 standard-sized muffins or 6 large, Cafe style, Texas-sized muffins
- I don’t usually use muffin cases/papers, I don’t mind them, they do look rather pretty, but personally, I prefer the nice crust the muffins get when I just use the tin.
STEP BY STEP
First, liberally spray either a 12 standard-size muffin tin or a 6 large Texas-size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or place muffins cases in (no need to spray those).
Also, preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated in the centre of the oven.
Then strain the juice from the pears.
If you are making 6 large muffins, slice 2 pear halves into 3 slices each and set them aside (these will go on top later on).
Alternatively, if you are making 12 standard muffins, slice 3 pear halves into 4 slices each and set them aside.
Once you have your slices, roughly chop up the rest of the pear halves and then set them aside also.
Next, peel the feijoas (or cut them in half and scoop out the insides with a teaspoon) and then…
…roughly chop them up. If they are small or medium-sized, chop them into around 8 little pieces each (larger ones, chop into more pieces).
Next, place the castor sugar in a large bowl and get a large spoon ready.
Then melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat or in the microwave for around 1 ½ minutes.
Whilst the butter is still hot, add it to the sugar and mix the two together until just combined.
- I was told that using hot butter gives the muffins a better colour so I use it straight away. I also think it gives the muffins a fudgy, texture as it melts the castor sugar a little.
Now, add both of the eggs and quickly mix them in well.
Next, add the flour, baking powder and the mixed spice to one side of the bowl and…
- If ‘throwing’ in the flour and baking powder together freaks you out, you can sift them together in a separate bowl first if you like and then add the drys!
…add the chopped feijoas, pears and yoghurt to the other side of the bowl.
Gently fold it all together until it’s just combined.
- Over mixing them will cause them to rise less and also they won’t be as ‘fluffy’ in texture (sometimes I even leave a bit of flour around the edges of the bowl so I know I haven’t over mixed it)!
Then, carefully spoon the muffin mixture into the sprayed tin or cases (either the 12 standard or 6 Texas), being careful not to push the mix down as they will rise less and be denser in texture.
Then, gently press the pear slices into the top of each muffin (rounded side up).
Now, place them in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes (small) or 30 minutes (large). I go for a nice even, golden brown colour all over and a firmness when gently pressed down in the centre and of course, a sharp knife inserted into the centres should come out ‘clean’ (no wet batter on it).
Once done, leave them in the tin for 10 minutes before removing them (I like to use a dessertspoon for this) and…
…placing them onto a cooling rack.
- If you are placing them in a container, be sure that they have thoroughly cooled down first.
They look nice dusted with icing sugar 5 minutes before serving!
Best served warm with butter and/or a little whipped cream or some more of that lovely, natural yoghurt you mixed them with. 🙂
Keepin’ em fresh – These are best eaten on the day, the second day they’re still okay but not quite as amazing! You can keep them in the pantry in an airtight container for 2 days and if a day old, I would warm them for 15 – 20 seconds in the microwave to freshen them up a bit.