“Someone needs to eat these, I am not going to throw good food away!” I can still hear those words spoken from both grandmothers and my mother. Of course we kids would wonder, why they bought so much anyway. Obviously, they must have been on sale.
Whole pears are good day one, but once the rind starts to show bruises…yuck. Very few things are as unappetizing as biting into bruised fruit, so why take the risk? When lucky, my dad would draw the short straw and take the most damaged piece and my siblings and I would choke down one each.
Now, I am the one admonishing my family for not eating the fruit. Like my grandmothers, I refuse to throw out good food regardless of how cosmetically challenged. I recalled that my mother would freeze and save bananas, finally throwing them out when she needed space in the freezer. I guess there was some honor in the effort. Canned fruit was stacked in the pantry and only saw the light of day during the holidays (baking season). I thought it was kinda odd that they would use canned and frozen ingredients to make fresh bakery.
My solution is to relax. I buy the fruit on sale, hope the family enjoys fresh whole fruit. If they don’t, I bake fresh fruit bread. My family is more than happy to eat their share. When I have extra loaves, I freeze them or take them to work to share with my friends. I have found, no one has ever been excited for me to serve overripe whole fruit but will cut the line to get a slice of fresh bread.
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (be careful here, sometimes a pinch will do)
1/4 cup yogurt (buttermilk is an alternative)
1 cup coarsely chopped pear
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Thoroughly combine dry ingredients and let rest for 1 hour
- Cream butter, gradually add sugar
- Beat in eggs, one at a time
- Alternately add dry ingredients and yogurt to egg mixture
- Stir in pears and vanilla (pears break down quickly so do not over stir)
- Pour in prepared 8 x 4 Loaf pans
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 min
- Cool on wire rack
Makes 2 Loaves