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This dense, moist quick bread showcases the spicy bite of candied ginger. It's not a high-riser, so don't expect the usual dome-shaped loaf. Instead, this bread rises like a river, even all the way across, and slices into lovely thin rectangles, ideal for spreading with some candied-ginger-spiked cream cheese.
We've used Bosc pears as the fruit here, but peaches, nectarines, plums, bananas, or even applesauce would be just as suitable. We haven't tried it with zucchini, which is probably ubiquitous in everyone's garden right now, but we imagine that, with a suitable increase in sugar, even that might work.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 heaping cup pear purée*, about 1 1/2 pears
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup crystallized ginger (about 3 ounces)
1 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
*There's no need to peel the fruit; just purée it well in a blender or food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then add the egg, beating till smooth.
Add the pear purée, flour, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Beat till smooth. Stir in the candied ginger and nuts.
Spoon the batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes. Gently remove the loaf from the pan and cool it completely on a wire rack. Yield: sixteen 1/2-inch slices.
Nutrition information per serving (one 1/2-inch slice, 56g): 156 cal, 8g fat, 2g protein, 9g complex carbohydrates, 10g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 25mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 78mg potassium, 1mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 34mg calcium, 42mg phosphorus.