One of the things I like most about winter is the freedom to turn on the oven whenever I want. Not that I can’t turn on the oven during any of the other seasons, it’s just that in winter the added heat in the house is appreciated. Of course I can’t turn on the oven unless I’m going to cook or bake something. That’s also a good thing, because usually anything that comes out of the oven is pretty yummy.
One lazy Saturday I discovered a couple of pears in the refrigerator that were on their last legs. They were delicious pears but just too soft to eat like you would normally eat a piece of fruit. Really, really juicy and pretty soft. I was sad about the pears thinking I had to to ditch them when it occurred to me to make some pear bread. So on that lazy Saturday afternoon I chopped up those pears and let the flour fly.
I found a recipe at Smitten Kitchen and made some very minor adjustments. I ended up with a nicely warmed kitchen and two loaves of incredibly moist and flavorful pear bread, one to eat right away and one to freeze for later. Husby loved it too!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened, or 3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled, cored, and diced ripe pears
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to mix everything well.
Peel and core pears, then dice them fairly finely. You’ll want two cups total; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the butter or oil, eggs, sugar, diced pear, and vanilla, and stir to mix everything well. Scrape the pear mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until the flour disappears and the batter is evenly moistened.
Quickly scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the bread is handsomely browned and firm on top and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack or folded kitchen towel for about 10 minutes. Then turn it out onto a plate or a wire rack to cool completely, top side up. Serve it as is, sprinkle it with confectioners sugar or drizzle it with a simple glaze made from whisking 3 tablespoons buttermilk, a dash of vanilla and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar together.
This bread is delicious by itself or with a healthy slathering of butter and tall glass of milk.
What are you warming up your kitchen with these days?
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