Pear Gingerbread

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I always associate it with childhood memories of crunchy leaves, apple cider, halloween fun size candy, and crisp late fall air.  

Each year I always try to do something special for my daughter on Halloween.  We live in Iceland so there is no trick or treating, but I want to instill in her happy memories of this great fall holiday.  Usually my husband carves a pumpkin with her and I do some fall baking.

This year I baked a pear bread with fresh and candied ginger.   I used this Joy the Baker recipe as a template but I changed the heck out out of it.  It turned out super moist and gingery.   I served it with Martha Stewart´s Apple Pie Spiced Cider.

 

Pear Gingerbread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups light brown sugar, packed, plus 3 tbs brown sugar for pears

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

3 tbs fresh grated ginger

1 15-ounce can sweet potato puree, or just under two cups

1 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup water

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 heaping cup pear slices, sauteed in browned butter and brown sugar

2 tbs butter

3/4 cup crystallized ginger*

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat butter in skillet over medium heat until browned.  Add pear slices, and 2 tbs brown sugar and saute until pears are soft and browned.  Set aside and let cool.

2) Place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Butter and flour two loaf pans and put to the side.

3) Mix together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and fresh ginger in a large bowl.

4) In another (medium bowl), mix together sweet potato puree, oil, maple syrup and water.

5) Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Fold in the pecans, Pears and crystallized ginger.

6) Split the dough  between the two greased and floured pan.  Feel free to sprinkle the loaves with cinnamon and granulated sugar.  Bake for loaves for around 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

* If your feeling up to it you can make your own crystallized ginger by removing the skin from a ginger root and chopping the root up into small pieces.  Then coat the pieces in white sugar and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

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