November 17, 2011
Thanksgiving is a week away, folks! Whoopity whoop whoop.
If you’re like me, you have approximately 8,473 things to do before Thanksgiving gets here. But, you know what? They will all get done. They always do. And the light at the end of the tunnel is turkey-shaped and my-mom-is-coming-into-town shaped and new-Muppets-movie-shaped.
We’ve got lots to be thankful for around here. Including you, dear reader.
Should you be traveling in the next week, or hosting folks in your home, I highly recommend whipping up a loaf or two of this here pear bread. It’s become a favorite of mine, similar to a favorite “oh the bananas are a bit too overripe” banana bread recipe, this one is simple but winds up being much more than the sum of its parts.
I’ll be back again before the holiday, as it’s time to post a new essay, but if I don’t catch you then, I wish you a very fine Thanksgiving—full stomachs and full hearts.
The Governor’s Inn Vermont Pear Bread
from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook
Conveniently enough, this bread keeps well in the refrigerator so it’s a good choice for making ahead of time. I think it would travel well, too, as long as it were well chilled and wrapped in a few layers of foil.
Given that pears, walnuts, and blue cheese make a fine combination, I also want to try this recipe with the sugar cut in half and whole-wheat flour substituted for all or most of the all-purpose. I think the result might make a nice addition to an after-dinner cheese plate.
9 T unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg (I tend to use a wee bit more)
1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped pears (I used 2 very ripe D’Anjous)
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts
oven – 350
pan—two loaf pans or one large tube pan
Cream the butter until light. Slowly add the sugar, beating constantly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition
Combine the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add them to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Fold in the pear and vanilla. Pour into two lightly greased loaf pans or one large tube pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes (loaf pans) or 1 hour (tube pan). The original recipe calls for the bread to be cooled to room temperature and then chilled before eating, but I actually like the bread warm out of the oven. It’s quite moist on its own, but a slather of pear or apple butter won’t hurt!