While pumpkin spice bread usually takes the prize for fall harvest months in the fruit and vegetable bread category, we can't neglect the abundance of apples and pears at this time of the year. A light pear loaf with cinnamon and nutmeg is sure to warm you up in the colder months and help you maintain a slim figure, at the same time. Just be sure to eat any dessert in moderation! With a cup of unsweetened and homemade Light Chai Tea Latte foamed with a little fat free milk on top and sprinkled with cinnamon, you will look forward to that afternoon break or nice snack after dinner. Just because it's a lighter dessert, doesn't mean you can overdue it though. Be sure to step away after one serving size, hiding it if you need to, because it's that good! Straight from the oven, with the chunky, peeking out pears, the loaf will be as irresistible to your family and friends, as it is to mine! Store in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness longer, and then just slice and toast to crisp it up, and bring out the flavor of the warm spices in each bite.
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf, about 15 servings, 30 taster portion sized servings)
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup peeled, coarsely chopped pears (about 1 Bosc pear)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Please note: You will also need cooking spray to prepare the pan, and a pan that is ideally 9 1/4" X 5 1/4" X 2 3/4" in size, or use a few mini loaf pans and reduce the baking time by about 20 minutes.
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray the baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in one bowl and stir with a whisk to distribute dry ingredients evenly. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, add the softened butter (10 seconds in the microwave if cold), applesauce, sugar, and eggs. Whisk briefly until all liquid ingredients are mixed thoroughly together. Set aside.
4. Chop your pears and nuts at this time and set aside. Then, measure out the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir after each addition with a whisk. Then, add the vanilla extract, pears, and nuts (if desired). Remove the whisk and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent the pears from breaking apart.
5. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for an hour, or until the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Once finished, remove from the oven and wait at least 10-15 minutes for the loaf to cool, and then unmold the loaf onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm for best flavor. Slices can also be topped with 1-2 teaspoons light cream cheese or apple butter. Recommended serving with Light Chai Tea Latte.
Also appropriate for Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets.