Pear and Ginger Mini Loaves or Muffins
January 3, 2008
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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]
Necessity is the mother of many a new recipe in our house.
Because there are only the two of us (humans) living here (“Don’t forget about us, Mum!“), it’s usually fairly easy to decide what to have for dinner, or what to buy at the grocery store. My HH and I share many a similar taste, except for all that animal flesh he eats, and we even enjoy cooking together whenever we do cook (which seems to be less and less frequently these days, come to think of it).
One thing we have in common is an apathetic response to pears. I crave a fresh pear probably twice a year–no connection to any other event or season; it’s just something that happens, and then I eat a pear. When I do bite into it, I do appreciate all its lush juiciness, smooth, aromatic flesh and the little-known fibre boost it supplies.
Pears wouldn’t be a problem over here, except that we are also the happy recipients of a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box. When I’m not being lazy, or when I have extra time on my hands, I will contact the company ahead of time if there’s something I don’t want (such as cantaloupe, or extra mushrooms) and they will kindly exchange it for something else I do want (such as kale, or sweet potatoes). However, more often than not, I am forgetful this way, and we end up with two to four pears in the box.
If I’m indifferent to fresh pears, my HH is positively aloof. He won’t eat them; doesn’t like them; won’t even so much as glance in their direction. The result of this situation at home is the all-too-frequent overly ripe pears sitting in a bowl in our kitchen, looking ennervated and gloomy and feebly hanging on for dear life. What to do?
In the past, I’ve simply chucked them, with no fanfare and lots of guilt (well, at least I put them in the organic waste bin). Then I realized that I could quarter, core, and freeze them for later use in a morning smoothie, along with my frozen banana and berries. This worked well, and I enjoyed the added flavor imparted by the pears. Eventually, though, the number of ziplocs containing pears just grew too large.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to whip up some of my favorite oatbran banana muffins, and grabbed a bag of frozen overripe bananas to defrost. To my dismay, I realized once it was too late to re-freeze them that the melted, leaky mass in the bowl wasn’t bananas at all, but a batch of my frozen pears. What to do?
The pear slices were too soggy and soft to use as they were (and certainly not suitable to cut into dice, as is so often the requirement for any baked goods made with fresh pears). I had a wonderful recipe for pear and ginger muffins that I’d made about a year ago, but it called for freshly diced pears, and this mass of oozing, juicy, soggy goo was just too amorphous for any such recipe.
Then it hit me that I could do with the pears what I had intended to do with the bananas: grab my trusty hand blender and whip them in to a puree. Then use the puree in a quickbread recipe.
I got to work and concocted what I thought would work. I even threw in some Salba, as I’d just bought my first bag (for the low, low price of $13.70!!!) and wanted to experiment. An hour later, I had four pear and ginger loaves–a little too flat, a little too dry, but on the right track. A few more test runs, and I was pleased enough to give the results to my HH to taste. I told him it was a “spice bread.”
Well, let’s just say, the days of the Pear Prohibition are over. My HH made quick work of 2 loaves in succession that very night, then asked for another for breakfast the next day. I’ve since told him they contain pear, and he’s even okay with it.
Here’s the recipe, so you can see what you think. Another reason I’m excited about it is that this will be my first contribution to the ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday round-up next week, hosted by Cate at Sweetnicks.
[NB. Those eagle-eyed among you (okay, technically “between you,” since among is reserved for more than two) will notice that there is, indeed, a photo attached to this post, despite my earlier whining that I’d forgotten my camera up north. Luckily, I shot a few photos of my pear loaves last week, when I baked them. Wow, that free camera can snap nifty photos!]
Mini Pear and Ginger Loaves
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