Crumble Top Pear Loaf

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Bartlett pears… hard to come by out of season but there they were piled high on a grocery display last week. So who gets excited over a pile of Bartlett pears? Someone who could  finally pull out that Crumble Pear Loaf recipe waiting to be made for what seemed to be a very, very long time.

Not willing to wait until the end of summer for seasonal Bartletts some Bosc pears were purchased a few weeks ago hoping they would ripen enough to use in this recipe. Unfortunately they remained as hard as concrete even as they spoiled and found their way to the compost bin. I should have waited.

On the other hand the Bartlett pears I brought home aged very well. A few days after purchasing, the dark green beauties transformed into an inviting golden colour as their hard flesh mellowed and became very succulent . Deliciously sweet to eat out of hand and perfect for baking these are no doubt my favourite variety .

This is a delicious loaf with a moist, tender crumb studded with sweet pear chunks and walnuts topped with a unique crumble. Of course a quick sampling was in order to decide if the recipe was worth making again. After two pieces, I thought it best to wrap the rest of the loaf and place it out of sight.

Definitely worth a repeat performance!

Crumble Top Pear Loaf

2 cups flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup peeled, diced pears(1 1/2 to 2 medium pears)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Crumble Topping

In a small bowl combine following ingredients and set aside.

¼ cup each flour, packed brown sugar, rolled oats and walnuts.

¼ cup butter, melted

½ teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, salt and ground ginger.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add buttermilk, beaten egg and melted butter.
  3. Blend together adding chopped pears and walnuts until combined.
  4. Butter or line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spread batter in pan smoothing top.
  5. Sprinkle with crumble topping and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 15 minutes then remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • A 4×11 inch loaf pan gives a more slender loaf. I find the center of the loaf bakes more evenly than in the 9×5 inch size. Can also be baked in three approximately 5×3 mini loaves for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • The crumble is a little different that the usual. After ingredients are mixed it becomes very thick and sticky. As you place it over the loaf break it up with fingers over entire surface.
  • Not being a lover of ginger I was reluctant to use it but it turned out not to be a dominant flavour, instead a pleasant compliment to the other ingredients.
  • Loaf will slice much easier if allowed to mellow overnight or at least for several hours.
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