Monday, April 20, 2009

My Little Rescue Mission

Today, I would like to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: pears.

Where do I even start? There are very few fruits that can lure me away from the-wonder-that-is-chocolate, or that I would ever, ever consider an acceptable replacement for “real” dessert (i.e., the kind that involves chocolate). Apples can’t do it. Bananas can’t either. Kiwis? Nope. Berries? Nah. Oranges or melon? No way. But pears…pears...well, okay, I guess they can't actually do it either. (I mean, we're talking about chocolate here.) But they come far, far closer than any other fruit I know of and definitely are at the top of my "favorite foods" list. Oh, magic pears.

Now, I was a little bit overzealous about a week ago and brought home a ginormous bag of assorted pears from Trader Joe’s—more than I possibly could eat, and I should have known it (and I’m the only pear-eater in the family). So what I wound up with was a huge bag of assorted pears ripe to the point of getting mushy.

Eating a bag full of pears in a sitting is not an option. Yikes. And throwing out pears is not an option, either. That’s almost as bad as throwing out chocolate. So, what to do?

Make pear bread!

This was one of those recipes that I sort of pieced together (I think I originally got the recipe off "Bake of Break") and made some changes to--mostly making it healthier. I think I’ll call it “Save the Pears, Save Some Calories” pear bread. Ha. (Sort of “Heroes”-esque, isn’t it? “Save the cheerleader, save the world…”)

"Save the Pears, Save Some Calories" Bread
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
generous pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used brown-sugar Splenda blend)
1/2 cup white sugar (I used Splenda)
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped ripe pears

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over bottom and sides of pan and tap out excess. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. In separate bowl, combine applesauce, sour cream, egg and egg white, sugars/Splenda, and vanilla. (I like to use a wooden spoon, not an electric mixer.) Stir in the pears. Add pear mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes, or until top is beginning to brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

(NOTE: This is best the day after baking it. Just nuke a slice in the microwave for a few seconds, and mmm...)


  1. Amber!!! I love your blog! Your totally won my heart with the pear I am sure you could of assumed so ;)
    Love you!


  2. Yummy. I'm a fan of pears too, and this sounds delish. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Have a goodie!