upside-down maple and pear muffins

  • 2 small Williams (firm green) pears (400g)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup, plus extra to serve
  • 1¼ cups (185g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease 6 x ¾-cup-capacity (180ml) Texas muffin tins. Slice 3 x 1cm-thick rounds from each pear to fit the base of the tins, reserving any unused pear. Place a pear round in the base of each tin. Pour the maple syrup over the pear in the tins and bake for 10 minutes or until the pear is tender. 
  2. Peel and grate the reserved pear and place it in a large bowl. Add the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar and mix to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, milk and oil, and, using a butter knife, mix until just combined. Divide the mixture between the pear-lined tins, tapping gently to settle. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. 
  3. Invert the tins onto a tray and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve muffins warm with extra maple syrup. Makes 6
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