A few years ago I became a Pinterest addict.
Yes, I admit it, I claim it, I wear it like a Scarlet Letter, only without the shame. How could I not be? So many great ideas, tips, crafts, articles, exercises, recipes and other marvelous STUFF I didn’t know I needed in my life but clearly did, all in one handy-dandy place just waiting for me to Like, Pin and try. I liked ALOT, a function that is sadly no longer available, I pinned ALOT, I tried…not nearly as much as the other two, but I gave and still give it the “old college try.”
One of the first boards I created was Autumn Inspired Breads. At the time I was searching for a new taste of Fall, a new sweet bread slightly spicy, slightly nutty, cozy warm and filling-heavy to complement my coffee and invoke the idea of the season even if the temperatures were not cooperating with the calendar. I found a few candidates that I baked, enjoyed and shared, but knew that I had found THE ONE when I stumbled across a Pin for Pear Bread from the website Bake or Break. Gleaned from Nancy McDermott’s 2007 cookbook Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations, this bread came with a warning from Bake or Break’s author:
“After you try it, you may never want to bake anything else ever again. It is just that good.”
She wasn’t lying! Try it, you’ll see!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup softened butter
3 lightly beaten large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and diced* pears
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).
Once you’ve lightly greased and floured a 10-inch bundt or tube pan, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Once mixed, scoop out about a quarter of a cup and combine with the pecans to coat, then stir the coated nuts and flour remnants back into the flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the butter, eggs, sugar, pears, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour one, stirring just until the flour disappears and the batter is evenly moistened.
Pour the batter into the bundt or tube pan and bake for sixty to seventy minutes, or until the bread is browned and firm on the top and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in a pan on a wire rack for at least ten minutes, remove from the pan, and place top side up on a plate.
Serve immediately with coffee, put your feet up and savor the season!
* The original recipe called for grated pear, but I like it much better with larger pieces. Either way, diced or grated, you can’t go wrong.