My Daily Bread (or Having My Cake and Eating It, Too)

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My friend Clara over at Clara’s Corner, in her comment on my last post, asked for the recipe to my Pear Bread.  Well, the truth is, I’ve made that bread so often, I don’t use a written recipe, but I did write it down earlier for my children (in case I kicked the bucket or something) so here it is, for what it’s worth.  I cook mostly by trial and error (which means my family often endures the trial of eating my errors), so I don’t use a lot of written recipes, although my family probably wishes I would.

Anyway, this used to be apple bread, because the place we lived before had an ancient, abandoned orchard nearby which produced some of the most ugly, gnarly, wormy old apples you ever saw—but they made good bread.  But now we have pears instead—hence the apple bread becomes pear bread.  But, at its core, it’s the same recipe, so I hope you find it appeelling.   (See how y’all inspired me with your wonderful puns in the comments?) 

Okay, so I really should confess, too, that this is really as much cake as it is bread.  In fact, I was looking the other day at my friend Judy’s wonderful recipe blog,  Recipes From a Southern Country Cook  and I noticed that an apple cake recipe she had on there was remarkably similar to my apple/pear bread recipe.  But, you know, if I call it bread, we can eat it without guilt because apple/pear bread just sounds so wholesome and nutritious and…non-fattening.   And if we called it cake, we’d feel awful for eating a whole loaf in one sitting.  Not that we’ve done that, of course.  Well…not a WHOLE lot. 

Well, not every day or anything….

Ahem…anyway, without further ado (or any more puns), here’s my recipe for pear bread.  We like a spicy bread, so you may want to adjust the spice for your taste.  Also, we like a very fruity, moist bread, so if you don’t, you may wish to add less fruit.  Adding more fruit, however, makes it easier to rationalize that second piece!  After all, fruit is GOOD for you!

Apple/Pear Bread

4-5 cups of apples or pears, peeled and diced
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (raisins are also good)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour (sometimes I also add a handful of oatmeal)
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg 
1 half teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix together pears, white sugar, brown sugar, and pecans.  Then, separately mix together the vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla (I use a little electric hand mixer).  Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. 

Then, alternate adding the pear, sugar, and pecan mixture and the sifted flour/spice/salt/soda to the oil/eggs/vanilla mixture.  Or, really, you could just mix all of it together at one time, and I’m sure it would turn out fine.   Mix well and put in two loaf pans.  When I use a lot of fruit, sometimes I have enough for three loaf pans or at least, enough left over to fill a couple of those little tiny loaf pans you can get at Walmart.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes (the tiny loaf pans obviously take less time) until top springs back when pressed.  Let cool, then turn out of the pan.  And, by now, the house smells so good that you just can’t help yourself.  Go ahead.   Have a slice or two. 

After all, life is short.  Enjoy it!

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11 Responses to “My Daily Bread (or Having My Cake and Eating It, Too)”

  1. Judy Says:

    Hi Beth, This does sound a lot like my apple cake. It sounds so good. I am a cake and bread nut. I could live on those two things and, yes, I could probably eat a whole loaf! Thanks for the reference to my recipe blog. I love anything with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. because it does make the house smell so good while it cooks. I always use a hand mixer and most of the time I throw everything in together and then mix. I am bad about putting butter on a slice of cake. lol. Have to make it as fattening as I can. Thanks for your recipe. I don’t know that I will have any pears but I can try it with apples and make the bread.

  2. eemilla Says:

    Before I try this, I need to clarify. Is it some oatmeal in lieu of flour or some oatmeal in addition to the flour? This bread sounds like it would be good to have before skiing or as a snack while skiing or even better with some Russian tea by fire.

  3. Benjamin Says:

    Hey–thanks for posting this–even though you’re not kicking the bucket any time soon. Stumbling around in our sheds, you might kick *a* bucket, but not THE bucket. Haha, I love the pear bread. And I can’t wait to get home.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Looks like it would be quite tasty. I’m baking stollen this weekend, so making apple bread will have to wait until next weekend. I have Granny Smith apples for pies – I would imagine a sweeter apple would be good for your bread? Or would the two cups of white and brown sugar make using Granny Smith apples O.K.?

  5. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    To answer Eemilla’s and Jeff’s questions: I add just a wee bit oatmeal sometimes in addition to the flour. It is completely optional. It does make a heavier bread, but I guess it makes it healthier, too!

    And I don’t think it matters what kind of apples you put in there. In fact, early in the season, the pears were very crisp and tasted like a really tart apple, and they worked just fine in the bread. And, now, they are softer and very sweet and actually taste like pears…and they work just fine in the bread.

  6. luckypennies Says:

    Pssssh, hush Mommy, everything that you every make tastes good. Your mistakes are always the tastiest. It is never a trial to eat anything of yours. The trial is trying not to eat it.

  7. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Yay, thanks for posting this recipe. I think I remember asking for the apple bread recipe last summer…glad to finally get it!

    Of course, I never passed along my zucchini bread recipe, either.

    I can’t cook without a recipe. Or, I couldn’t, until recently. I’m breaking out of my comfort zone in that regard. I admire your ability to cook that way.

  8. June Says:

    Sounds yummy! I do take the yellow jacket off first though, yes? :-)

  9. Clara Melvin Says:

    Thank you Beth for posting the recipe. I certainly will try it. I have made Judy’s apple cake and it is wonderful. And her Southern Jam cake is out of the world. I wish my neighbor had not cut down his pear tree. He always gave them to me because they didn’t like them. I miss that tree.

  10. CountryDew Says:

    This sounds yummy! And a good basic recipe for changing around with various fruits.

  11. Norma Says:

    sounds yummy.
    http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2009/01/thursday-thirteen-in-central-ohio.html

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