Blueberry Pear Cardamom Muffins

Free at last!!!! It’s so nice to be back in Arlington after a fantastic fall semester. I love my home! Especially the kitchen. It’s huge. With granite counter tops. And two stoves. Plus, my mother always has a huge stash of cooking supplies- it’s like having Kroger right at home. I hadn’t gotten to cook/bake since finals ended, except for a failed loaf of flat banana bread. Sad day. But today, I whipped out my brand new jar of cardamom pods, found some miscellaneous fruit, and conjured Blueberry Pear Cardamom Muffins.

To begin, roughly chop two pears and place in a medium sized bowl. Add blueberries, a squirt of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar. Place in the refrigerator to soften (or macerate if you’re feeling as fancy as these muffins) while prepping the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350.

For the cardamom, open about four to five pods with a knife and scrape out the tiny black seeds. Next, grind the seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until coarsely ground but not powdery, yielding about 1/4 teaspoon and set aside (fresh cardamom is really fun to work with but you can substitute pre-ground seeds instead. Plus, little bit goes a looooong way in any recipe).

Sift the white whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Beat egg whites until light and frothy, about thirty seconds on medium-high speed.

Remove the pears from the refrigerator. Add sour cream and oil, mix until combined. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the dry and wet ingredients to the egg whites. Place heaping tablespoons of batter into prepared muffin pans and place in the oven. Bake about seven minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another seven minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Blueberry Pear Cardamom Muffins
Yield: 10 muffins          Prep Time: 15 minutes            Bake Time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped pears
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cups of sugar
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. Roughly chop two pears and place in a medium sized bowl. Add blueberries, a squirt of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar. Place in the refrigerator to soften
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Open about four to five cardamom pods with a knife and scrape out the tiny black seeds.
4. Grind the seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestal until coarsely ground but not powdery, yielding about 1/4 teaspoon and set aside (fresh cardamom is really fun to work with but you can substitute pre-ground seeds instead).
5. Sift the white whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
6. Next, beat egg whites until light and frothy, about thirty seconds on medium-high speed.
7. Remove the pears from the refrigerator. Add sour cream, oil, and mix until combined.
8. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the dry and wet ingredients to the egg whites. Place heaping tablespoons of batter into prepared muffin pans and place in the oven.
9. Bake about seven minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another seven minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
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