Move over banana bread, there's a new kid in town.

3:40 PM

   Sometimes people disappoint me.  Sometimes they frustrate me, sometimes they bewilder me, and sometimes they completely misunderstand me.  But sometimes, people completely and totally AMAZE me.

  Take the time for instance when my friend, who has FIVE small children of her own, took the time to hand-weave me a beautiful basket and fill it full of farm fresh pears.   That's when a thank-you card just doesn't seem to cut it.

   So obviously I didn't want to let a single pear go to waste, but I also wasn't sure I wanted to can one. Single. More. Jar.  And so........baking with pears!  Seasonal, delicious, it warms up your house, makes everything smell like Heaven, and is just an all-around great idea.  So after a bit of Pinterest-browsing, I found a pear bread recipe that didn't seem too daunting or too unhealthy and I gave it a try.

  And boy I'm glad I did because this stuff will not last long around here!  Not only is it the perfect companion to a cup of coffee, but every once in a while I start to get a little burnt out on banana bread, and so this is a delightful (while every bit as sweet!) alternative.  Try it, you won't be disappointed.

RECIPE found via Chew Out Loud.
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TB vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)
5 cups of very firm pears, peeled and diced
   Preheat oven to 350F, and grease one large loaf pan and line a muffin pan (or grease two loaf pans for two smaller loaves.)
   In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, olive oil, applesauce, and honey.  Stir together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir to incorporate.
   In another large bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal.  Mix dry ingredients well.  Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened.  Gently fold in pears, distributing evenly.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and/or muffin tin.
   For single large loaf, filled almost to the top, bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean, with few moist crumbs attached.
   If splitting batter between two loaf pans, bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
   For muffins filled almost to the top, bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
(Makes one large 9×5 loaf + ten muffins, OR 2 smaller loaves)
   I made two loaves with this recipe and they were a good size.  Also, I didn't have allspice or flax meal on hand, and so I omitted those and it still turned out great.  But it would be nice to have the flax next time for that extra fiber.  Enjoy! 

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