The good news is that two of the recipes we’re featuring this week don’t require large amounts of pears, so they can be enjoyed with a simple trip to the grocery store, year ‘round.
The recipe for Pear Bread came by way of Florida recently and, believe me, it is wonderful. The recipe makes two regular loaves or eight of the miniature loaves. I chose the miniature ones for today. The bread is moist, and when served warm and spread with honey butter, it makes a delightful addition to a good breakfast menu.
There’s nothing quite like a good Pear Cobbler in the winter and, if you find yourself with extra pears to preserve this year, take the time to can or freeze them. You’ll be glad to have them in your pantry later.
And how about a small batch of pear preserves? They’ve always been a breakfast favorite at our house, but for some reason, I never really enjoyed preserving a ton!
This recipe came from the popular Ball Canning Booklet, and makes about 5 half-pints. These little jars are perfect to include in a gift basket!
PEAR BREAD with HONEY BUTTER
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
One-fourth teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Three-fourths cup cooking oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and chopped pears
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, and make a well in the center of the mixture; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar; mix well. Pour the mixture into the well in the center of the flour mixture and stir, mixing ingredients until no flour is visible. Add pecans and pears and mix well.
Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans or an 8 miniature loaf pan. Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before removing from pans.
To make Honey Butter, combine 6 tablespoons fresh honey with 3 tablespoons melted butter and mix well.
CANNED or FROZEN PEARS
2-3 pounds of pears per quart
Wash pears and drain. Cut into halves and peel and core. Make a light syrup of 2 cups of sugar to 5 cups of water and keep syrup hot.
Cook pears, one layer at a time, in hot syrup 5-6 minutes or until hot all the way through. Pack pears in hot jars or in freezing containers.
If canning, place pear halves in sterilized jars, cover with hot syrup and place 2-piece lids on top. Process pears in a boiling bath, 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts.
For freezing: Bring syrup to a boil and blanche pears for 2 minutes in hot syrup. Cool pears and syrup. Place pear halves in freezer containers and cover with syrup. Place lids on top tightly, and label.
3 cups sugar, divided
3 cups water
6 medium pears, about 2 pounds – cored, peeled and sliced
One-half cup thinly sliced lemon, (about 1 medium)
Combine 1 & one-half cups sugar and 3 cups of water in large saucepan. Cook rapidly for 2 minutes. Add sliced pears and boil gently 15 minutes. Add remaining sugar and sliced lemon, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook rapidly until fruit is transparent, about 25 minutes. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 to 25 hours. Remove pears from syrup and cook syrup 3-5 minutes or longer to thicken. Remove from heat and skim foam. Pack pears in hot, sterilized jars and adjust 2-piece sterilized lids and rings. Cover with hot syrup and close tightly to seal. Makes about 5 half-pints.