Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkish Coffee Pear Bread

This is a nice alternative to more tradition quick breads. Though I still have a preference for old-fashioned banana bread, this is a close second. Make for breakfast or dessert. Give as a gift for the holidays or for that wonderful hostess who put up with you all weekend.

Turkish Coffee Pear Bread
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
(about 16 servings)
A subtle, moist quick bread with a surprisingly rich and creamy texture. Apart from the sifting of dry ingredients, all the mixing steps can be done in the food processor. Cut in thin slices to serve. Wrapped well, it can be frozen for up to 1 month. Adapted from "The Joy of Coffee" by Corby Kummer (Houghton Mifflin, revised 1997).

3 ripe pears
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt (may use low-fat)
4 teaspoons ground coffee (regular grind)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Peel and core the pears and cut them into quarters; puree the quarters in a food processor to yield 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups. Reserve any remaining puree for another use.
Center a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, or in a food processor, combine the butter and sugars for about 2 minutes, until well blended. Reduce the speed to low (or stop to add each ingredient, if using the food processor) and add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing for about 1 minute. Add the pear puree and yogurt, and mix until combined. Stop mixing long enough to sprinkle the ground coffee and cardamom over the batter, then scatter the flour mixture over the top. Resume at low speed or pulse a few times, and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack and turn right side up on the rack to cool completely.

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