Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spicy Ginger-Pear Bread

I made a bunch of quick breads this week.  Banana-pecan, lemon poppyseed, and ginger-pear.  Pears are everywhere right now, and ginger seemed like the perfect thing to go with them.  Sweet, spicy, warming.  Actually, I think ginger goes with everything--and in my cooking, it often does.  So to the pear bread recipe, I added a hefty dose of fresh ginger, with crystallized ginger on top.  I keep the ginger in the freezer, peeled and wrapped up tight, and when I need some, all I have to do is grate off a bit with a microplane.

Ginger-Pear Bread
(based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2-4 Tbs freshly grated ginger (I used closer to 4 Tbs, but adjust to taste)
3/4 c softened butter
3 eggs
2 c sugar
2 c grated pear (3-4 pears, peeled, cored and grated)
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbs crystallized ginger, chopped fine (I used this)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and fresh ginger.  In another bowl, combine the grated pear, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  Add the pear mixture to the dry mixture, and mix until just blended.

Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans, and sprinkle the tops with the crystallized ginger.  Bake for about an hour, til the tops are browned and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10-15 min., and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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