Pear Hazelnut Bread

Pear-Hazelnut Bread

Pear-Hazelnut Bread

Quick breads often meet my need for something sweet, without a guilt trip about how many calories I’m ingesting.  Of course not all of them meet that description, but this one is a nice compromise between a little sweetness and something you feel good about eating for breakfast.  It bakes up nice and hearty, with shredded pears and chopped hazelnuts folded into a cardamom-scented batter.

This bread would be a welcome addition to a holiday brunch or just nice to have with your morning’s coffee, on an average day.  Although, in my opinion, no day is average when it starts with a home-baked bread or muffin.


Fresh, firm pears are needed for this recipe, so when they are grated you will not have a pile of mush.  I like Bosc pears but firm Bartletts work well also.  Wait to prepare them until you’re ready to put the bread together or the shredded fruit will turn brown.

While the original recipe for this bread called for 1  1/2 cups white all-purpose flour, I use a mixture of whole grains to make a total of  1 1/2 cups.  Examples are oats, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, and barley flakes.  The proportions should be about 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup something else like oats or barley flakes.  This will give you a bread that is tender with good texture.   Toasting the hazelnuts in the oven for about 5 minutes improves their nutty flavor, but watch them carefully so they don’t get too browned.



Yield:   1  9″x5″ loaf


  • 1 cup shredded, peeled, ripe pears that are still firm (about 2 )
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (see recommended types above)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts



1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  and line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.  Coat well with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  Whisk together the vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla together well.  Stir in the shredded pears.

3.  Whisk together all the dry ingredients,  adding in the chopped nuts also.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

4.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just to moisten thoroughly.

Mixing wet ingredients into dry.

Mixing wet ingredients into dry.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Test carefully as the top of this loaf may brown and look done while the center is still moist because of the pears.

5.  Let cool in the pan for about an hour, then remove from pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.



SOURCE:   Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon


Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Necessity is the mother of invention.  You’ve heard that saying before haven’t you?

Well, in my refrigerator were four pears that had gotten quite ripe while I was away, and it was necessary that I find a way to use them up.  I had read an article some time ago about poaching pears in red wine, and thought at the time that they were very pretty because they became tinted pink.  Not having any red wine readily available, I “invented” this recipe for poached pears using cranberry ginger ale.  Since orange is also a good match-up with cranberry,  I added some orange slices and threw in some whole cloves.  The results, as you can see, were tender pears, tinted a nice pink, and further flavored by the orange and cloves.   And the best part?   There’s no sugar in this recipe.  I just relied on the sweetness of the ginger ale and the pears themselves to carry the dish.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

This is an easy-peasy dessert.  It can be served warm or chilled.  Mr. D. loved these pears, and I must say that I find them pretty darn good too.  If your New Year’s resolution has something to do with weight loss or eating less sugar, these pears are for you!!

This is everything you will need.

This is everything you will need.


Yield:   4 -6 servings


  • 4 medium pears, ripe, but not too soft.  I used Anjou pears
  • 1 orange
  • several whole cloves,  about 6
  • a bottle cranberry ginger ale, or cranberry juice


1.   Peel and core the pears.  Cut each one into eighths.  Place into a medium-size sauce pan.

2.  Slice 3-4 slices from the orange, and cut each one in half.   Juice the rest of the orange and add the juice to the pan with the fruit.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

3.  Add the cloves to the pan with the fruit.

4.  Pour in the ginger ale just to the point where the pears are not quite covered.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife.  This took about 15 minutes.

5.   Drain the pears reserving the juice, but removing the cloves and orange slices.  Cool and serve pears with some of the juice.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

Cranberry-Pear Crisp

Cranberry and pear crisp.

Cranberry and pear crisp.

If I were to ask you to name the “fruits of fall”,  surely apples would likely be the first you would mention, and then maybe pears would be a close second.  Where would cranberries fall on that list of fall fruits?  Fresh cranberries are in season now, bagged and sold by the pound.  I usually get several bags of them and put them into the freezer for use later on when they’re no longer available at the supermarket.  They are so useful in both sweet and savory dishes.

We think of cranberries when we’re planning the Thanksgiving menu, because cranberry sauce, whether canned or home made is a natural with turkey.  But cranberries seem to get neglected when it comes to baking or making a dessert for the holiday table.  So today I have a recipe that attempts to change that.

This tart-sweet dessert combines fresh cranberries  with dried cranberries and fresh diced pears, plus lovely spices.  It gets topped with a crumble that is made from flour, sugar, oats, chopped nuts and melted butter.  Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, it could be the grand finale to your holiday dinner, if not this month, maybe next.  The colors are so festive, they remind me of Christmas jewels and ornaments.

Love the color, and it tastes great, too.

Love the color, and it tastes great, too.


Yield:   Serves 6 – 8


  • 1 pound cranberries, thawed if frozen

    The colors of these two fruits are so pretty together!

    The colors of these two fruits are so pretty together!

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts of choice
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted


1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Lightly grease or spray a 3-quart baking dish.

2.  Combine the fresh and dried cranberries in a large bowl.  Add 1 cup sugar,  3 Tbsp. water and the vanilla and toss to coat.  Lightly mash with a potato masher or fork to burst some of the cranberries.

Mix cranberries with sugar and vanilla.

Mix cranberries with sugar and vanilla.

Add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and 2 Tbsp. flour and toss to coat.

Add chopped pears and spices.

Add chopped pears and spices.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Arrange mixed fruits in a baking dish.

Arrange mixed fruits in a baking dish.

3.   Make the topping:  Mix the remaining 1 cup flour, the nuts, oats, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the salt in a medium bowl,  then stir in the melted butter.

Add melted butter to dry ingredients for crumble topping.

Add melted butter to dry ingredients for crumble topping.

Use your fingers to pinch the topping into small clumps and sprinkle it over the fruit.

Sprinkle on crumble topping.

Sprinkle on crumble topping.

4.  Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Golden and bubbly after it has baked.

Golden and bubbly after it has baked.

A little sweet, a little tart, a lot of delicious!

A little sweet, a little tart, a lotta delicious!

SOURCE:  Food Network Magazine

Cranberry-Pear Pie

Pear Still Life

Today I’d like to speak on behalf of the pear.  I don’t think that pears get the attention they deserve.  The apple, on the other hand, gets all kinds of attention.  It’s as American as well, apple pie!  Eaten out of hand, baked into cakes, pies, squares, covered with caramel on a stick—I could go on and on.  But how about the pear?  Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a pear pie.  Right!  I thought not. So today I want to introduce you to a wonderful treat–a cranberry pear pie with a streusel crumb topping.

Cranberry Pear Pie with Streusel Topping

This is the time of year when pears are plentiful and there are many different kinds of pears.  The ones we are most familiar with are probably the Bartlett, the Anjou, and the Bosc. Each has its own characteristics, but one thing they all have in common is a juicy sweetness when they are ripe.  Most pears are not strong flavored so they pair well with other fruits and seasonings that bring out their flavor, like cranberries, ginger, nutmeg, and orange.  This pie incorporates three out of those four.  It has fresh cranberries, cooked with orange zest and ginger, which is then mixed with the fresh pears, and piled into a flaky pie crust.  Then it’s topped with a streusel that combines oatmeal with brown sugar, orange juice, more ginger and cinnamon.  There’s not much more I can say in praise of this pie except try it and find out how good it is for yourself!


Source:   Cooking Light, 2009

Servings:  about 10


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cranberries ( can be fresh or dried)
  • 1 ( 1-inch ) piece peeled fresh ginger cut into thin slices.
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 peeled pears, cored and sliced about 1/4″ thick  (Anjou or Bosc pears work best as they are firm)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • cooking spray


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To Prepare pie:

1.  In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil;  add cranberries, ginger slices, and orange rind.  Return to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Remove from heat.  Discard ginger slices.  Cool.

Cook cranberries with sugar and ginger.

2.  Combine lemon juice and sliced pears in a large bowl; toss.  Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Add to pears; toss to coat.  Stir in cranberry mixture.

3.  Fit refrigerated pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Fold edges under; flute.  Spoon pear mixture into prepared crust.

Pile seasoned pear filling in the pie shell.

To prepare Streusel:

1.  Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave.  Add the orange juice and stir to mix.  Measure flour and add along with oats, and remaining ingredients;  toss.

2.  Sprinkle oat mixture over pear filling.

Sprinkle oatmeal crumb topping on pie filling.

Cover pie loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet.  Bake covered in the lower third of oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Uncover; bake another 15 minutes or until nicely browned.  Cool on a rack 1 hour before serving.

Additional notes:  raisins would be a good addition if cranberries are not available.  Also you could vary the fruit and use apples instead with equally good ( and tasty) results.

A reeeealy good pie!

Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart

Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart

As a hostess gift when I went to visit in North Carolina I brought some apples grown right here in the town where I live.  We who live here are so spoiled by the ease with which we can obtain fresh orchard-grown apples and pears ( at this time of year) as well as other fruits earlier in the season.  Folks who formerly lived here miss that kind of freshness in the fruits they are able to buy in their local grocery stores, and the variety of kinds of apples.  So a gift like the one I brought with me is always welcome.

Coincidentally, my hostess wanted to make a baked gift to give to a friend who had been kind to her and her husband, so together we made this Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart.  Actually we made two;  one to keep and one to give.   We used some of the apples I brought, and some pears that she had on hand, ripe and beautiful.

This is very easy to make, goes together quickly and looks very impressive when completed. It tastes as delicious as it looks.  The recipient of this gift was surprised and delighted to receive it.




  • 1 roll packaged refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
  • 2 large apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pear – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam, warmed


1.  Unroll the pie dough and lightly roll into a 10 – 11″ circle.  Fit into a 9 ” pie pan, or place flat on slightly greased baking sheet.

Tart can be made in a tart/pie pan or flat on a baking sheet.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3.  Toss the sliced apples and pear with the orange juice.  Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cornstarch.  Toss the fruit with the sugar-spice mixture.

Toss sliced fruits with orange juice.

4.  Arrange the fruit decoratively in the pastry shell.  If you’re baking it on a baking sheet, leave a 2-inch rim of dough with the fruit arranged in the middle.

5.  Fold the dough up and over the edge of the fruit ( the pastry folds will overlap).

Fold edges of pastry up and over top of fruits, pleating the excess.

6.  Bake the tart in the preheated oven until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and brush the whole top with the warmed apricot jam.  This creates a beautiful glaze.

Serve warm with a dab of ice cream——Deeelish!


Oatmeal Pear Scones

I went to the orchard recently to get some fresh apples and pears.  While there I noticed some recipes that were available using some of the products they were selling.  On looking through them I came upon this one for scones that included chopped fresh pears. Unusual, I thought, and worth trying out.  The recipe also called for ground ginger, but I knew immediately that I would put in some crystalized ginger, because pears need something with a little zing to enhance their flavor, and also just because I love candied ginger and use it whenever I can work it in. The recipes were free for the taking, so—I came home and soon began to bake these scones.  There is no rolling of dough or cutting involved.  They are simply dropped by the 1/4 cupful onto a baking sheet.  Quick. Easy.  Try them!


YIELD:  Makes 10 dropped-style scones


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystalized ginger (optional, my addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unpeeled, finely chopped pear

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, i.e. flour through salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3.  In a small bowl, combine yogurt, egg and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients all at once.  Mix until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently stir in pear.

4.  Place  10  1/4 -cups of dough on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

5.  Bake for 17 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Adding the crystalized ginger worked out very well.  It added an occasional sharp little bite to a very nice, not too sweet accompaniment  to coffee.  I’m so glad to have found this recipe.  I think you will enjoy it, too.

SOURCE:  Courtesy of Belltown Hill Orchards