Sweet recipe for pear and ginger muffins, topped with mascarpone cheese

110g butter
110g light muscovado sugar
110g black treacle
175g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 large egg, beaten
150ml milk
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 South African pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 South African pear
20g butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
Fine shreds of lemon zest, plus the juice of the lemon
200g mascarpone cheese

How to
Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Put 12 paper muffin cases into a muffin tin.

Put the butter, sugar and black treacle into a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Don’t allow the mixture to get too hot. Cool slightly. Sift the flour, salt and ginger into a mixing bowl. Add the melted mixture and beaten egg, stirring them in thoroughly.

Heat the milk until lukewarm, then add the bicarbonate of soda. Quickly stir into the ginger mixture, pour into a jug and share between the muffin cases. Spoon an equal amount of chopped pear into each muffin case. Bake for 22-25 minutes until risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

While the muffins are cooling, core and slice the remaining pear neatly. Heat the butter in a frying pan until sizzling, then add the pear slices, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes until lightly caramelised. Cool.

Top the muffins with the mascarpone, then finish off with the cooled pear slices and lemon zest.

Cook’s tip: Always use cook’s measuring spoons for accuracy – and level them off!


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