Sunday, January 24, 2010

Double Decker Pear Banana Bread

The bread is smiling! Did you ever think of mashing overripe pears, mixing them with mashed overripe bananas, and then stirring them into a spiced quick bread batter?  Me neither...until a Spiced Banana Pear Bread recipe popped up on Laura's Best Recipes, originally posted on  I took the posted recipe..., then thought I could make it better by adding the "double decker" layer from the pumpkin bread I posted last month.  Well..., easier said than done, but I finally did it!  I love the banana-pear taste, still banana, but milder.  The quality of the pears does affect the flavor of the bread.  The best loaf I made was with very overripe Royal Rivera pears, the least flavorful was made with canned pears. Now don't go expecting a cheesecake experience from the cream cheese layer, it's pleasant, but it's main purpose is to keep the bread moist (and it's fun to look at, too).  This bread needs to be refrigerated overnight (in a perfect world) before slicing, so plan ahead.

Double Decker Pear Banana Bread

For Batter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peeled, mashed overripe pears (canned pears can be used...if there are no more fresh pears left on the planet)
3/4 cup peeled, mashed overripe banana
1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla) or sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional, for decoration
thinly sliced pear slices
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (spray with Pam, or spread with butter and flour...I like to add a double layer of parchment paper on the bottom, too).  With an electric mixture beat butter and white sugar together until creamy (about 3 minutes) then stir in brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes or so. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well blended.  Add vanilla, pears, bananas, yogurt or sour cream and mix well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Stir into batter and mix until just combined.  Pour 1/2 of batter into the bottom of pan.  Pour filling layer over,if desired.  Pour rest of batter over the filling layer.  If you have an extra pear, decorate top of loaf with very thin slices and sprinkle with 1 tsp brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Let loaf cool on rack.  Wrap cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap and store overnight in refrigerator before slicing.

For Filling (optional)

4 oz. softened cream cheese
3 T. sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
3 T. minced crystallized ginger or 1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. self-raising flour

Soften cream cheese in MW.  Stir in sugar, sour cream, egg, and  minced crystallized ginger or vanilla. mix well. Stir in flour. Use as directed above.

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