We love making banana muffins or banana bread for people who need a little sweetness in a tough time. A tangible and quick response feels right, and having a go-to recipe or two on hand is nice. Banana bread is something pretty much everyone likes and has good memories of, and on the practical side, we always have the ingredients for it on hand.
We don't tend to eat a lot of 'real' bread these days (unless we're out to dinner here or here -- then trying the amazing bread and butter is absolutely necessary). Recently, we've been modifying old TCV recipes to make them lean more toward being either Paleo or gluten-free. Looking for a new challenge this week, we started working on pear bread. At times, pears seem to be kind of an overlooked fruit, don't they? They're so mild and innocuous but still so good! We wanted to showcase them in something new besides a crumble, tart, or salad. Making our Simple Orange Pear Butter first gives you something good to have for breakfast on top of oatmeal or toast -- and then you can use up the rest in the bread recipe below.
Anjou Pear, Orange, and Ginger Bread
1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Anjou pears (peeled, finely diced)
Juice from 3 mandarin oranges (about 2-3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Simple Pear-Orange Butter (recipe follows; can substitute apple butter)
Zest from 1 large orange
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon olive oil margarine
sea salt, brown sugar, and powdered ginger (optional; for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, ginger, and salt and set aside. Combine the pears, orange juice, and vanilla and set aside.Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, Simple Pear-Orange Butter, orange zest, and crystallized ginger. Add the flour mixture and the pear mixture to the previous wet ingredients and mix. Pour batter into a bread pan that's been lined with parchment paper. Dot the top with pieces of olive oil margarine and, if you like, sprinkle the top with a little seat salt, brown sugar, and ginger. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Allow bread to cool before slicing and serving.
Simple Pear-Orange Butter
3 ripe Anjou pears (peeled, diced)
1 Pink Lady apple (peeled, diced)
juice from 1 mandarin orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
a pinch or two of sea salt
Put pears, apple, orange juice, cinnamon, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan. Simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is tender and sauce has reduced by half. Set aside to cool. When the pear butter is cool, blend it until its consistency is very smooth. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.