I had mentioned in an earlier In my kitchen post that I would share a recipe for a Pear and Amaretto Loaf cake passed on to me by a friend. She had made this loaf cake when attending Leith’s cooking school. It was also suggested you could use the recipe to make muffins… which I have done. With having to prepare a crumble topping and beat the white of an egg, these are not as quick to make as other muffin recipes. However, definitely worth the effort and the bowl washing! My only regret was, when testing the recipe as muffins, I didn’t double the ingredients and make twelve instead of six… but then I remembered when Caroline visited and brought the Pear and Amaretto loaf cake, it wasn’t hanging around in the cake tin for very long.
With the combined flavors of sweet pear, amaretto, ground almonds, walnuts and cinnamon, these muffins (or loaf cake) would also be perfect for the fast approaching festive season. The flavor of the amaretto in the muffins is not very obvious but expect it enhances the overall flavor, if liked you could add another teaspoon. Or, omit the amaretto if you do not use alcohol or haven’t got any. With some recipes I like to use 1/8 of a teaspoon measurement for a more consistent pinch. I do not have a 1/3 teaspoon measurement so used one rounded 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
Although it was suggested the muffins would take 15 to 20 minutes to bake, mine took 30 minutes in the oven.
Pear and Amaretto Muffins with a Crumble Topping
1 ripe pear (the pear I used weighed 120g)
1 teaspoon amaretto
85ml oil (used sunflower)
115g caster sugar
115g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
1/3 teaspoon baking powder (used a round 1\4 teaspoon of baking powder)
pinch of ground cinnamon (used 1/8 of a teaspoon)
pinch of salt (used 1/8 of a teaspoon)
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 egg white
for the crumble topping:
50g plain flour
15g caster sugar
You will need: Line a 6-hole-muffin-tin with paper cases. For the loaf cake you will need a 500g loaf tin lightly greased. Cut a length of non-stick baking parchment long enough to line the bottom of the tin with extra hanging over the sides for easy removal of the cake when baked. Double the quantities to make 12 muffins. See note at the end on the crumble.
How to make:
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/160C Fan/Gas mark 4.
First prepare the crumble topping. Sieve the flour into a small bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and set aside.
Remove the core from the pear and without removing the skin (remove if desired) cut into small 1/2 cm dice. Place into a small bowl, add the amaretto and mix together. Set aside.
With a whisk beat the oil, caster sugar and egg together in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside
In another bowl sieve together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside
In a small bowl whisk the egg white to medium peaks.
Using a large spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until almost combined, then fold in the pear, chopped walnuts and egg white. Do not over mix.
Divide the mixture evenly between muffins cases or spoon the mixture into a prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the muffins or the loaf cake.
Bake the cupcakes for 30 minutes or the loaf cake for 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of a cupcake or loaf cake which should come out clean without and wet mixture on it. Let the muffins cool in the baking tin for about 5 minutes (loaf cake about 15 minutes) before removing and transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Note: For the 6 muffins I didn’t use all the crumble mixture, used about 3/4 of the amount… I personally felt it was enough. So if you are doubling the recipe, I suggest not to double the ingredients for the crumble topping.
If you do try this Pear and Amaretto recipe, let me know how it works for you. If you like amaretto you might like to try this dessert recipe, Panna Cotta with Orange and Amaretto served with a Blueberry Compote.