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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Roasted Pear Crunch Bread

The great thing about baking is you can take a combination of ingredients, combine them in what feels like a magical way, and the end result is so much better than the parts. While I love a good juicy pear, they often appear a lot juicier and tastier than they are in actuality. Rather disappointing, really. If you roast them, though, the heat of the oven encourages all of that lovely sweet juiciness to emerge. Adding those roasty pears to a cinnamon-laced quick bread, topping with some tasty crunchiness, and you have yourself a perfect snack, breakfast or brunch addition.


This recipe makes one 9 x 5 loaf, and is easily doubled so you can share with your neighbor or slide into your freezer for a rainy day.


Roasted Pear Crunch Bread


Yield: 1 9 x 5 loaf

Roasted pear bread
Crunchy topping on a lightly sweetened pear-studded loaf

Ingredients


For the roasted pears:

2 ½ cups chopped pears (from about 2 medium pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces). No need to peel. This is esp nice when you mix in an Asian pear, too, as that keeps the crunch a bit more.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of fine sea salt


For the crunchy topping:


¼ cup old-fashioned oats

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of fine sea salt

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

½ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds

For the bread:


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

¾ cup buttermilk (or you can clabber some milk (just under 3/4 c milk with the rest as vinegar and let it sit until clumpy. You can also use 2 T greek yogurt mixed with enough milk to make 3/4 c)


Directions


Make the roasted pears: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a quarter sheet baking sheet, line with a square of aluminum foil to catch the juice (and to help with clean-up), toss the pears with the melted butter, vanilla and salt and spread in an even layer on the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until pears are tender and beginning to brown at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.


While the pears cool, make the streusel: In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt to combine. Add the cubes of cold butter and use your fingers to pinch together the ingredients, until the mixture becomes clumpy. Stir in the almonds. Set aside.


Make the quick bread: Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or line with aluminum foil, and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Set aside.


In a large bowl whisk the oil, butter and brown sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well to incorporate after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the almond extract and the buttermilk. Stir well to combine.

Slowly add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir well until incorporated. Add the cooled roasted pears and gently fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the loaf.


Bake the quick bread until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the streusel is golden brown, 60 to 70 minutes. If the streusel is getting too dark before the interior is fully baked, tent with foil. Let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.


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