Ontario Pear squares with maple icing

(NC)—“Whether enjoyed as a quick breakfast, afternoon snack, or used as incentive to get your child to finish their dinner, these multi-purpose mini-sized cakes will come in handy for any occasion.” – says Chef Mark Picone, Vineland, ON.

Pear squares:

1 cup Ontario pears, peeled and cubed 250 mL
1/2 cup sugar 125 mL
1 cup buttermilk 250 mL
5 tbsp butter, melted, cooled 75 mL
Zest from 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour 300 mL
3/4 cup cornmeal 175 mL
1 tbsp baking powder 15 mL
1/2 tsp baking soda 2 mL
1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL

Maple icing:

3/4 cup icing sugar 175 mL
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 mL
4 tbsp maple syrup 60 mL

Pear squares: Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C).

Grease and flour two, 12-cup square muffin pans, alternatively you may use two 12-cup regular muffin pans.

Add pears and sugar into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Set aside for later use.

In a large bowl add buttermilk, butter, lemon zest and eggs; whisk until combined. In a medium-sized bowl add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until combined – do not overmix. Fold in reserved pear mixture. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the squares comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan.

Maple icing: In a medium-sized bowl, add ingredients. With a whisk, mix until ingredients form a smooth icing consistency. For a thinner consistency, add an extra tbsp (15 mL) of maple syrup.

Presentation: Place cooled muffins on a baking tray lined with parchment or wax paper. Drizzle the icing on top and allow to set for a few minutes before serving.

Makes 12 squares and 1 cup (250 mL) icing.

Chef’s tip: To maintain freshness, store squares in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Avoid icing until serving. For added freshness, reheat squares in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven for 5 minutes.

Per Serving (1 square): about 224 cal, 4 g pro, 6 g total fat (3.5 g sat fat), 39 g carb, 1 g fibre, 45 mg chol, 221 mg sodium. %RDI: iron 8%, calcium 7%, vit A 5%, vit C 2%.

Source: www.ontariotenderfruit.com and www.newscanada.com