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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Rhubarb & Pear Crumble Muffins

The pear saga started when a friend from work brought in a huge bag of fresh organic pears from her home grown tree... obviously, this got me thinking.  What can one do with pears?  Pear and vanilla paste was created, followed by strawberry, pear and rhubarb jam (see post below), finished up with a nice batch of Rhubarb & Pear Crumble Muffins, which I have to say, were pretty darn good (especially warm from the oven!)

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
Serves: 2 fat piggies (makes 12 muffins)

For the Filling:
 - 200g drained cooked rhubarb
 - 200g drained, cooked pear, diced
 - 3tbs caster sugar
 - 2tbs water
 - 1/4tsp lemon zest

For the Crumble:
 - 2tbs unsalted butter, melted
 - 4tbs plain flour
 - 3tbs brown sugar
 - 4tbs porridge oats
 - 1tsp lemon zest

For the Muffins:
 - 375g self-raising flour
 - 125g brown sugar
 - 1tsp baking powder
 - 115g unsalted butter, melted
 - 350ml milk
 - 1 egg

1)  Preheat the oven to 200'C (400'F) .  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

2)  Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the pears are soft.  Set aside.

3)  Stir all the ingredients for the crumble together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

4)  For the muffins, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat the butter, milk and egg.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

5)  Spoon a little batter into each muffin cup, using about half the batter.  Then spoon a layer of the filling into the cups.  Add the remaining muffin batter on top and then finish by sprinkling the crumble mixture over the muffin tops.

6)  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the trays for about 5minutes.  Serve the muffins warm.

**They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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