If there’s one thing my husband “needs” to put on our weekly grocery lists, it’s fruit. Watermelon, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears. His favorites. He could eat his weight in watermelon if he conscience didn’t remind him about the sugar spike he’d send his body through. For a couple of months, he’s been eating several pieces of bosc pears and fuji or honeycrisp apples daily. Then, suddenly, over the weekend, he said he was getting tired of his bosc pears and asked if I had a use for them. “Seriously, I said? But you’re addicted in the same way I need sweets – real sweets – daily.” He shrugged it off and I set off looking for pear recipes.
FHE would probably love a crisp or turnovers best. But, recalling the success that grated zucchini had in breads and muffins this summer (as a fat replacer and moisture enhancer), I decided to try a bread with grated pears. Moist, but not too wet, the bread is delicious alone or topped with fresh creme. Mildly sweet with barely a hint of beautiful bosc flavor (that part is a shame), this is an addictive bread for breakfast (made into french toast) or dessert. In fact, I caught FHE with a few slices straight from the oven. That is, after he enjoyed his honeycrisp apple.
Pear Bread, recipe adapted from Southern Cakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
1/2 cup butter, softened or 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten or 2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 – 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups peeled and finely grated ripe, firm pears (slightly less than 3 medium pears)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or two 9″x 5″loaf pans.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of this mixture and combine it with nuts to coat. Stir back into the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine butter, eggs, sugar, pears, and vanilla. Add the pear mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until flour disappears and batter is evenly moistened.
- Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until bread is browned and firm on top. (Mine took about 65 minutes.) A pick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pan and place top side up on a plate or wire rack to cool completely