Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spiced Pear Banana Bread

Last weekend I escaped. No, not from jail. From the monotony of my daily life. And headed for the coast.

Ah yes, the Oregon coast. How I adore thee!

Windy beaches free of crowds, an amazing local aquarium, local breweries - what's not to like?

Of course I had to bring some baked goods for the road. The pear tree out back finally got the message this year and has been producing like crazy! Even after gifting away 10 lbs. of pears, I still found myself with an abundance to use up and fast. So as a treat to myself, I brought along a freshly baked loaf of Spiced Pear Banana Bread.

Try not to drool on the keyboard, which you would be doing if computers had the ability to release scents (omg, did this recipe smell great during the baking process).

Using the pears from the yard, the eggs from our feathered ladies, and a few bananas I had stowed away in the freezer, this was a fairly easy recipe. I adapted it from Banana Bread Recipes, using shredded pears in place of mashed ones and adding almond extract (my secret weapon).

It did brown a bit around the edges, but made for some amazing flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Enjoy!

Spiced Pear Banana Bread
Adapted from: Banana Bread Recipes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 cups shredded pears
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan and coat with flour to prevent sticking.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
In another mixing bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar and butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is well incorporated. 
Mash the bananas in another bowl. Shred the pears into another small bowl. 
Stir the banana into the sugar and butter mixture. Then add in the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, stirring well. Next stir in the yogurt, again mixing well. And finally add the shredded pears. 
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring constantly. Mix really throughly until everything is perfectly blended together.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf pan. You can place a few slices of pear on top and sprinkle with a little brown sugar for decoration if you desire.
Place the loaf pan in the center of preheated oven and bake on 350F for 1 hour to an 1 hour 20 mins. Cooking times may vary, so check if the bread is done by inserting a toothpick or knife into the middle of the loaf. As soon as that toothpick comes out clean, take the loaf out! You don't want to overcook it.  
Allow the banana bread to cool in the loaf pan for about 10-20 minutes. The cooling is important because the loaf will solidify fully as it cools. Then remove it from the pan and let stand for another 20 minutes or so until it has cooled. Slice and enjoy! 

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