Pear Spice Muffins

pear spice muffins

Every fall I pick and buy local apples by the box. But this year when area farmers were offering pears in bulk, I decided to give them a try too. Let me say that it’s a little scary to haul home 25 pounds of Asian pears — or beautifully sweet carrots or luscious ears of corn. You always wonder: Can I really eat all this before it goes bad? My experience has been that keeping around a drawer full of produce is a lovely way to eat seasonally. I have never had to throw out my bulk purchases and having A LOT of something really pushes you to stretch your cooking wings. So, yes, having a box of Aonashi pears or Akanashi pears (I can find both at our farmers markets) in our extra fridge sent me scurrying to research recipes. And these tasty muffins have become part of our daily diet as a result. They are wheat-y and nutmeg-y, with just a touch of sweet but oh-so-much fall flavor.

Makes 12 muffins

Recipe inspired by


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, local if you can get it
  • 2 1/2 cups pear, unpeeled and finely diced
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease or line standard-sized muffin tins.
  2. In a mixer, on high speed, cream together butter and sugars until well-mixed, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, thoroughly. Add vanilla and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. With mixer on low, add some flour mixture, then some milk, alternating between the two until all is just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. With a large spoon, scrape sides of mixing bowl. Then gently fold in pears and nuts, if including.
  5. Divide batter between muffin cups. Batter will fill cups and even mound over the top a little.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking time. Muffins are done when their tops are browned and cracked, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.