Spiced Pear & Pecan Bread

Spiced Pear & Pecan Bread
Spiced Pear & Pecan Bread

Nothing smells more like autumn than fresh pears. These crisp sweet fruits are often overlooked for their more popular cousin the ‘apple’. Ripened at room temperature, pears are versatile enough to be used in desserts as well as savoury dishes. Fun fact; in Homer’s Odyssey, the pear was said to be the most precious gift of gods to humans. How’s that for the humble green fruit!

I love to use fruits in baking, as they tend to impart natural sweetness and their distinctive flavour to the dessert. The natural sugars in fruits like bananas, pears, and papayas concentrate more as they become ripe, making them perfect for baking moist and flavourful desserts. I keep experimenting with different fruits & berries to bake breakfast breads or muffins. This pear bread is moist, crumbly with a hint of ginger spice and a subtle taste of the fruit. This bread goes as well with an afternoon tea, as it does toasted for breakfast. For full flavour, make sure you use really ripe pears. The best ones to use would be the ones that are a little soft to touch, and are turning slightly brown around the edges. The chopped pears are mixed with lemon juice to avoid them from colouring before mixing them in the batter. Pecans provide a slightly sweet and nutty flavour to the bread. I like to decorate the top of the bread with pecans which gives it a toasted crunch on top. You could just as easily substitute pecans with walnuts or macadamia nuts if you like.

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The recipe is simple and easy to make. It does not require a blender or beater, and I mix everything using a hand whisk. I used half white sugar and half brown sugar for the recipe, as brown sugar tends to impart a slightly caramelised taste to baked goods as it bakes at high temperature. You can use all white sugar,or all brown as well, depending on your personal preference and level of sweetness desired. Also, as a thumb rule for baking, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start. This ensures even temperature distribution when being baked. So here’s the recipe:

Spiced Pear & Pecan Bread

  • Servings: 1 Loaf
  • Time: 60mins
  • Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS                                                                                                                       

1/2 cup white granulated sugar + 1/2cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil / olive oil / macadamia nut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1-1/2 cups chopped peeled ripe pears. Mix with juice from half a lemon and set aside
2/3 cup chopped pecans plus extra for garnish on top
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

RECIPE:

  • Preheat the oven to 175C. Prepare a 8-in x 4-in Loaf Pan by lining it with parchment paper and lightly greasing it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  • Add in the greek yogurt, vanilla, and lemon peel, and mix well.
  • Combine the dry ingredients together, and, add it to the wet mix, slowly sifting it, to mix well.
  • Stir in the pears, chopped pecans and lemon peel. Gently mix through. Do not over mix.
  • Spread the mix into the prepared loaf pan. Press the top gently with a few pecan nuts if using.
  • Bake at 175C/350F for 45mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool for ten minutes in the loaf pan, before removing it to cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

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