It is an ongoing goal and challenge to use food wisely. When I see a piece of fruit in the fruit bowl getting a little too ripe, I feel like I need to do something with it. Of course, this is a good problem to have–too much food–much better than the opposite problem–but I want to continually learn to use the food I have in ways that taste delicious and give us good energy. Sometimes it is hard to plan or predict how much food to buy at a time–who knew my kids would go through a big bag of pretzels in two days, yet ignore the pears? I guess I should have known! Anyway, this spiced pear bread is a tasty way to use a very ripe pear–the juicier the pear, the moister the bread. And it is a more nourishing snack than a plate full of pretzels! (Pretzels have their place too, but variety is a good thing). The cinnamon, cloves, and orange rind add to this bread’s subtle, sweet flavor, and it tastes great just sliced on its own or with a little butter or cream cheese on it. Add a steaming cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and it’s even better. I based this recipe on one I found in my Dr. Cookie Cookbook by Marvin Wayne and Stephen Yarnall, though I made some changes. Isn’t that the beauty of recipes, that they are always evolving with the years and with the people who use them. I am taking this bread over to Angie’s blog at The Novice Gardener for the Fiesta Friday link party. I always find inspiring ideas there! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Spiced Pear Bread
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce–if your pear is very juicy, lean towards 2 tablespoons, if not so juicy, use 3
- 1 teaspoon orange rind (you may also you lemon rind)
- 1 cup finely chopped unpeeled pear (about one pear)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, and set aside. In another mixing bowl, vigorously stir the eggs, brown sugar, and oil until smooth. (You can use an electric mixer if you want, but I did not find it necessary as long as I stirred it really well). Add the honey, applesauce, orange or lemon rind, and stir well again. Then, gently stir the flour mixture and the pear into the batter until just combined. Scrape the combined batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in your oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. It’s okay if the crust cracks a little. Cool the bread in the loaf pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan onto the wire rack and cool completely. Enjoy!