This time of year is hard for creative cooking. We are on our fourth month of kale salads, vegetable soups, lentils, and root vegetables. It is hard to not keep wishing for spring to arrive, along with asparagus, strawberries, and snap peas! I am definitely grateful for all of the work that I put in last summer, canning, preserving, and freezing produce for these months. Nothing perks up a simple meal like a ramekin of dilly beans or pickled carrots!
Baking is what I turn to in the winter. Not only do I get a treat afterwards, but the apartment is warm and cozy for the next few hours! This is an easy tea bread that makes use out of another winter storage staple: pears. A lot of pears are good cold storage types, allowing farmers to keep coming to the market with local fruit all through out the winter. If you do not want to go through the (very little!) effort of making pear sauce, you are more than welcome to use a commercial applesauce; just make sure it is unsweetened. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices and here it compliments the pear and almonds quite nicely. I decreased the sugar from the original recipe a bit because I intended on eating this sliced, lightly toasted, and spread thick with last year’s apple butter. Delicious for a light breakfast, with a cup of afternoon tea, or as a not-to-sweet dessert.
Cardamon Pear and Almond Bread
adapted from eatliverun
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sucanat or sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaw + 3 tbsp water)
1 cup pear sauce (about 2-3 ripe pears, diced, and cooked for about 5 minutes or until soft and pureed until mostly smooth) OR applesauce
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
about 1 cup of almonds, ground almost finely in a food processor or blender
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, egg, pear sauce or applesauce, and melted fat. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, until just combined. Fold about 3/4 of the ground almonds into the batter and pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining almonds and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack and enjoy!