Monday, September 21, 2015

Pear bonanza!

Yes, peaches are done but I told you not to be depressed - Pears are in season! And I finally found a couple things to do with those lovely little Seckel pears besides gobbling them up with a shmear of peanut butter. Although I'm already dreaming about toasting this lightly sweet pear bread with a little peanut butter on top, or maybe some of my pear butter - just for extra peary goodness.

Ginger Pear Quick Bread makes one 9x5 inch loaf

1 stick butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 cup buttermilk
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 and 1/2 cups chopped pears, I used seckels that were just slightly underripe (I cored them but didn't bother peeling)

In a mixer cream the butter with the sugar, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one and then add the vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add dry mix and buttermilk alternating and when mixed together fold in the lemon zest, candied ginger, almonds and pears. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and pour in batter - bake 350 degree oven for 45-55 min. Cool on a rack.

Rising for the last 30 min.
This is my half/half focaccia - I've been making Grape and Walnut focaccia now for 2 weeks in a row (it's that good) and this week wanted to try 1/2 done with sliced pears instead of grapes. This is unbelievably delicious with some cheese - I had some Cambozola and spread that on top -salty, slightly sweet - OMG. I can't tell which is better- side one or side 2 - I think I'll have both!
Hot out of the oven
Grape and Walnut Focaccia

3/4 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
about 2 cups small seedless grapes
2/3 cup walnuts
drizzle on top extra olive oil, sugar and maldon salt

Combine water, yeast and sugar in a 2 cup measuring cup and whisk to combine and let sit about 5 min or until frothy. Whisk in the olive oil. Put flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer (or you can do by hand) with a dough hook. Start the mixer and pour in the water yeast mix and continue mixing on medium low for about 3 min, or until it it comes together and is pretty smooth. Put a bit of olive oil in a large bowl and turn the dough so it's covered in oil and then place saran wrap on top and put in a warm place to double about an hour and half. Get a large sheet pan and pour in some more olive oil and dump in the dough. In the middle put in the grapes then fold it over. With your fingers spread it out, letting it rest for a few min, then spreading it some more. Then press in the walnuts all over - it's ok if the grapes are poking out too. Drizzle over some more olive oil and set aside to rise another 30 min. Sprinkle the top with a bit of flaky salt and about a teaspoon of white sugar (this time I used turbinado sugar and I don't like how it made the little brown speckles everywhere - so stick with regular sugar). Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 min, reduce temp to 350 and bake another 7 min or until crispy and browned. Remove to a rack and let cool. What an amazing addition to a cheese course!

Pear Walnut Focaccia

Same as above then
4 pears, cored and sliced and tossed with a teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup walnuts

So make as above but when you spread out into the pan lay out the pears and then place around the walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with maldon salt and some cinnamon and sugar. Bake like above.


  1. I feel the need to come to the Farmers Market with you! Pears look delicious.