November 13, 2009

Pear & Cranberry Bread


Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pureed Bosc pears
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg, at room temperature
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 thin (vertically) sliced pears, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour or spray (with baking spray with flour) 1 loaf pan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the buttermilk, egg and pear, mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Fold in cranberries. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Top with 2 thin slices of pear if desired.



Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan about 5 minutes then invert to a wire rack.



Note: Peel and core pears before pureeing. It takes roughly 2 pears to make 3/4 cup puree. Don't worry about it being perfectly smooth, some small lumps are just fine.


My thoughts:
After making the truly divine blueberry goat cheese muffins this summer, I kept thinking about other baked goods that would be improved by using homemade fruit purees. I just love how using puree spreads the flavor throughout the baked good rather than just having suspended bites of fruit which, while tasty, leaves some bites fruit-free. I had a ton of pears leftover from a recipe development gig so I wanted to use them up in a new way. I love both cranberries and pears so I thought a quick bread marrying the two would be a great idea. While I have made muffins using chunks of pears that were quite good, I thought an even better way to get a true pear flavor would be to puree the fruit and fold it into the batter. I was right. Rather than fading into the background, the pear is every bit as present as the tart cranberries. The pureed pears also make the bread incredibly moist.


14 comments:

  1. That bread looks divine! Love the addition of the pears on top.

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  2. This looks fantastic. What a great idea to combine pears and cranberries!

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  3. oh yum Rachel - this sounds absolutely wonderful :)

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  4. rachel, do you think that the pear puree could be added into a cake? or any fruit puree, for that matter. and if it could, would you just add the puree to the cake batter you're using, or would you modify the recipe? i've been wanting to make a sort of pear and caramel cake (in my head it sounds good...) and didn't know how to get pear flavor into the cake without it being cloyingly sweet or absolutely dull. thanks in advance!

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  5. Sierra,
    Fruit purees could be added to a cake. You would have modify the recipe quite a bit, simply adding it will not work.

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  6. I loved baked pear anything! Love that used the fruit pureed right in the mix and the slice pears on top...gorgeous!

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  7. I love the addition of the pears on top, that makes the bread so much more beautiful.

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  8. I really like the whole pear slices placed on top! Intriguing look.

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  9. I want to make this! Now! I wonder how it would be in Bundt form. Hee hee.

    You make your own anko? Such a diligent cook!! You are skilled and have patience. :) Thanks for visiting my little blog! - mary the food librarian

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  10. This is stunning! Love the photo, and it sounds delicious :)

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  11. I love the idea of the sliced pears on top. How cool! I have cranberries and pears just begging for me to use them...I think your bread is just the thing.
    If you're interested, check out Holiday Food Fest - this week I'm hosting Thanksgiving/fall dishes. Simplysugarandglutenfree.com is hosting the whole shebang - every week, you could link up one of your Thanksgiving dishes and win prizes! I'm giving away this cute flirty apron. Anyway, check it out. Love your blog!

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  12. Lovely fall combination of flavors and spices. I had a cake made with pureed pineapples the other day that was insanely delicious.

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  13. I just stumbled upon your blog and made this recipe. It was a big hit!

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  14. Just found this recipe because I LOVE pears and have frozen cranberries to use up. Clever to puree the pears - can't wait to try it

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