Asian Pear Bread
Why I Love This Recipe
Pairing my upbringing in Japan with my current country of residence - the USA - I've created a Western-style quick bread starring the succulent Asian Pear.
A golden skin covers the pale white Asian nashi pear. Dripping succulence and deliciousness, this Japanese apple-pear signals the start of autumn in Japan. In the olden days, the road from the American School in Japan to Tamabochimae train station was lined with mom-and-pop shops. One sold fruit and vegetables. Another sold candy and Japanese rice crackers. Soba shops also lined the path to the train station. At the fruit stand, I lingered and fingered many Asian nashi pears. My goal was always to buy the biggest and best one. Trying not to get my new clothes from America spotted with nashi juice was a challenge…But keeping tidy, looking cool in front of boys was nixed with one bite of nashi. Piercing the slightly stubbly skin with my teeth and tasting the crisp juicy pear is one of the great autumn pleasures in Japan. Japanese gardens are gorgeous in the fall…But so is the golden Asian nashi pear!
Ingredients You'll Need
2 large Asian pears
6 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¾ superfine sugar
½ cup Crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds + ¼ cup additional for topping
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
¼ cup Demerara sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat mini pans with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the paper.
In a food processor: Blend peeled and sliced Asian pears along with 6 tablespoons of coconut sugar.
In a bowl: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a kitchen stand mixer: Combine the Asian pear puree and the flour mixture. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the superfine sugar, Crisco and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup of the sliced almonds and dried cranberries.
Pour the batter into the loaves. Sprinkle with almonds and Demerara sugar.
Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.