Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
Photo by Judith Hausman
Fruit plus bread equals "time to eat a snack.”
The orchard store is still full of apples, but they are down to the last of the pears. I bought a big bag of small Bosc "utility” pears, spotted and still hard. They’ll ripen fast enough at home and the few blemishes will make no difference; the little pears will be grainy and sweet anyway.
After I had spilled them out on the counter, I remembered a yellowed, torn-out recipe for a quick pear bread in my folders. Who knows how I got my hands on it readily? The recipe was standard in many ways but needed the sugar and butter dialed down and the spices dialed up. (In fact you can double the spicing in this recipe yet again if you like.) Why not use healthier, whole wheat flour as well? Easy.
I also reached into the back of my meager liquor cabinet for a slim bottle of Swiss pear brandy, too powerful for my taste but truly the perfume of pears in a bottle. This would be a good way to use up a little bit of it. Plain old vanilla extract is fine, too.
I try to keep a sweet or two like this pear bread in the freezer for the holidays. A small loaf is an edible and welcome gift for a hostess or a seasonal breakfast treat for guests. Serve warmed-up slices with butter, honey or nothing else at all.
Servings: 1 loaf (or 2 smaller loafs)
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or buttermilk)
- 1 cup pears, cored and chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or 2 teaspoons pear brandy)
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat together well the melted butter, sugar and eggs. Combine dry ingredients, and add to egg mix alternately with the yogurt. Mix in chopped pears and vanilla (or brandy), but do not overmix. Pour into one greased loaf pan, 2 smaller loaf pans or a muffin tin.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 50 minutes depending on the pans. Test with a toothpick.
Cool briefly before removing from pans.
You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:
Pear Custard Pie
Read more of Locavore Recipes »
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