Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pear-Pecan Spice Bread

Tim bought me a box of tasty pears, and while I consumed most of them plain, I also used a couple of them in this fantastic quick bread.  It's nice and sweet with just the right amount of spice and a good crunch from the pecans.  I love how the pears are used in two ways - grated to keep the bread moist (much like the bananas in banana bread), and chopped to provide little bursts of pear flavor all throughout the bread.  The bread is wonderful warm, but also keeps well and is yummy cold for a few days (if it lasts that long!). 

Pear-Pecan Spice Bread (adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes, original recipe here)
Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted 
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
1 cup peeled, grated very, very ripe pear 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup peeled, diced pear
Note: You'll need 2-3 large pears for the grated and diced pear combined.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with oil.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Add the pecans and toss to combine.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, egg, egg white, sugar, grated pear, and vanilla.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Fold in the diced pears, again until just combined.
4. Scrape the batter into the oiled pan and bake for about 1 hour, until a tester comes out clean.