Pear Gingerbread

20 Oct

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I didn’t use to like pears. I had a strange prejudice against them. The texture wasn’t quite crisp enough, the flavor perhaps a little too floral. And you can’t deny the slight graininess. I was an apple girl.

But I’ve made a real effort to give foods I didn’t use to like a chance to prove themselves to me again, to show their worth. My parents did a fair job trying to expand my palate as a kid. I grew up eating Thai food and all manor of sea creatures, but some dislikes are hard to get past. Brussels sprouts? I didn’t even try them until I was in my late teens. Squash? In pie form only, thank you. And don’t even get me started on peas and carrots.

Tastes change, however, and now I’m known to buy four different types of squash at the farmers market. I make Brussels sprouts for my boyfriend and I on a weekly basis. I’m still not a fan of carrots, though I’ve had success with an admittedly delicious carrot ginger soup. Peas are still a no go. Sorry peas!

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Pears got their chance as well. It started with perhaps some matchsticks in a salad, or a few pear slices eaten with some stinky bleu cheese. Their merits started to show. That sweet, floral flavor pairs nicely with tangy foods and hearty spices. Hmm…perhaps pears aren’t so bad after all!

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The real star of this Pear Gingerbread, however, is the molasses. It’s dark, smoky, slightly bitter aroma is the perfect counterpoint to the warm spices and sweet pears. Now, before the Paleo Police come knocking on my door, I know that some people might not consider molasses to be on the paleo “yes” foods list. There seems to be an overarching taboo towards all things cane-derived in this community, but in all honesty, why is cane sugar any less natural than coconut sugar? Both have been extracted and refined from a plant. And of all the forms of cane sugar, molasses still contains some vitamins and minerals. Look into it.

Besides, it really wouldn’t taste like gingerbread to me without a little molasses. If you really want to avoid it, substitute with additional honey or maple syrup. It won’t have the same rich flavor, but it will still be delicious.  Or you can live on the edge. I dare you!

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Pear Gingerbread

© Copyright 2013 Carly Sullivan, The Lucky Clover Kitchen

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2/3 cup chestnut flour
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp grass fed butter, divided, melted (can substitute with coconut oil for dairy free, or ghee)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pear, peeled and sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1 Tbsp honey. Pour into the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan or 8×8 square pan. Arrange the sliced pears in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, spices, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add in the 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup honey, molasses, and eggs. Stir until smooth.
  5. Gently pour the batter over the pears, being careful not to disturb the pears as you spread the batter.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Let cool about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake. Then, using oven mitts, place a plate over the bottom of the pan and quickly but carefully invert the pan onto the plate. Tap on the bottom of the pan to release the cake (nonstick baking pans help a lot!).
  8. Let cool another 30 minutes before slicing and serving. This would be great served warm with some coconut ice cream or coconut whipped cream, but is equally delicious on its own. Enjoy!

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One Response to “Pear Gingerbread”

  1. Jackie October 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM #

    SO pretty!

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