For a new take on the classic banana bread, give this satisfyingly sweet caramelised pear bread a shot.
Larissa Takchi, the winner of MasterChef Australia 2019, has created this delicious pear dessert which is perfect for summer entertaining.
The best part is that this pear bread makes for a versatile option at many entertaining events – take it to a barbecue and enjoy for dessert, pack it for a picnic, or enjoy it with your afternoon tea.
The pears add a natural sweetness and help keep the bread moist. Try Beurré Bosc pears for this recipe – their traditional pear shape and firmer texture makes them great for cooking, particularly poaching.
Ms Takchi recommends pan frying the bread (or lightly toasting it) and serving it with some butter, ricotta and honey.
“I absolutely love cooking with Australian pears,” Ms Takchi said.
“Their gentle sweetness allows them to pair well with a number of ingredients, and they can be enjoyed fresh, grilled, poached, puréed or baked – making them one of my favourite fruits to cook with.”
5 pears, peeled and halved lengthwise
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup olive oil
1 cup plain flour
½ cup whole meal flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the caramelised pears, pour water, orange juice, sugar and butter in a medium fry pan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly reduced (about 5 minutes).
Add pears, cut side up. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook just until slightly softened (about 4 minutes). Turn off the heat and let the pears cool slightly.
Line the bottom of a 9×5 inch loaf tin with parchment paper. Place the pears, cut side down in the tin. Heat the remaining liquid in the frypan and pour it over the pears.
For the pear bread, preheat the oven to 180°C.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add in olive oil and mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in two additions. Don’t over mix – just use a hand whisk and whisk until everything is combined.
Pour the batter over the pears and smooth the top.
Place the loaf in the oven and bake until the top is golden or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 50 minutes).
Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving. The bread will taste delicious served with ricotta and honey.