Saturday, July 17, 2010

Adventures in Cooking: Pear Gingerbread

I made this a few weeks ago and it was delicious. AND it was super easy. It's nice to serve to company or just to have in the cupboard to nibble.

1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar 
100 grams butter
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large ripe pear

Total prep and cooking time: about 1 hour


Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celsisus (I have a fan force oven, so I heated mine at about 160 degrees).

Chop up your butter and in a small saucepan melt the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Don't step away or you'll miss the heavenly smell (or in case the syrup burns).
When it's melted, let it cool for a few minutes.
In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
Now, I didn't have any ground cloves, so I just popped the whole cloves in a zip lock bag and bashed them a bit with a meat mallet (and accidentally smashing my thumb - note to self: buy mortar and pestle), so mine weren't completely crushed cloves. But they smell yummy so who cares?

Whisk the eggs a bit in another bowl and pour them ino the syrup mixture.
Look at my giant whisk!
I was using a cute pink mini whisk, but it committed suicide in the syrup mix. It was resuscitated in the sink.
Tiny whisk is tiny!

Anyway, once that crisis was over, I poured the syrup mix into the dry ingredients and mixed it together.

And it then looked like this:

Then I remembered that I hadn't peeled my pear! Che disastro!
My pear had been sitting in the fruit bowl for...a while, so it was a tad mushy. Once I peeled it and chopped it up, it was actually more like pear puree, but that just made it easier to mix in. You could use a less ripe pear and have little bits of fruit throughout the loaf, but it's up to you.

So, now you mix the pear into the rest of the mixture.
See what I mean about the pear?

Okay, so mix that all together and grease a loaf tin. Pour the mixture into the tin ready for the oven.
A little tip: before putting it in the oven, bang the tin gently on the bench top a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles and to make it spread evenly in the tin.

Bake it for between 35 and 50 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is and how quickly it cooks things. I think mine cooked for about 35 minutes, but I did test it a couple of times with a skewer just to make sure it was cooked through.

Et voila!

Next time I would consider using a bit more pear. Because it was so mushy I think a bit of the flavour was lost in the ginger. Using another over ripe pear might have added a bit more flavour, and since it's a fairly dense loaf I don't think it would mess things up too much. If you have chunks of pear throughout you may not need to use extra pear - it really depends on how much fruit you like in your baked goods.
It was totally delicious.
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Melanie said...

This looks so good Julia. I would never have thought to mix gingerbread and pear. Must try it. Last week I trawled the web looking for parsley pesto recipes, I have such an abundance in the garden, the only thing that seems to be growing quickly at the moment! I made parsley and walnut pesto. Great with pasta. I recommend giving it a burl.

Julia R said...

I've never made pesto before, but I really want to try. I desperately need to buy a mortar and pestle and a food processor though, to crush things with ease!