Do you have a lucky bread pan? Don't laugh, but this is my lucky bread pan. I acquired it at least twenty years ago under somewhat nefarious circumstances (let's just say that it found its way out of a Boston restaurant kitchen that was unceremoniously shuttered when the owner forgot to pay his bills), and after a scrub or two or three, it's been working for me ever since. Sometimes, I use it for meatloaf, and I tried a vegetable terrine once; though I never made that terrine again, I don't blame the pan. Most often, I whip up fruit-based quick breads like this pear spice cake with cardamom and ginger, and the pan works its magic in the oven, rendering a slight crust on the bottom and a lovely split on the top. I love having a pile of these cakes in the freezer; I cut each cake in half and freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil and then a plastic bag. Long after our local apple and pear season ends, I can pull out a piece of cake, fix a cup of tea, and drink a toast to my magic bread pan.
Pear spice cake with cardamom and ginger
From the pantry, you'll need: unbleached all-purpose flour, baking soda, kosher salt, ground cardamom, cinnamon, powdered ginger, white whole wheat flour, vegetable shortening, brown sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, baking spray.
Makes 1 loaf; serves 10-12.
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup grated pears (no need to peel them), approximately 3 large pears
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a loaf pan with baking spray, and set aside.
Into a mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in the white whole wheat flour. Set aside.
In a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, and stir to combine. Then, alternating a little bit at a time, add dry ingredients, buttermilk and grated pears to the batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, then test with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake. If the skewer does not come out clean, return the cake to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until done.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to desired serving temperature.
Serve slightly warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or serve cold. (Can be frozen.)
More baked and cooked pears (and apples, too):
Quick and easy apple or pear tart
Slow cooker poached pears in caramel sauce
Pear spice cupcakes
Slow cooker chai-spiced pear sauce
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Preserved pears, from Simply Recipes
Cardamom pear pecan sticky buns, from Wild Yeast
Pear and cardamom fruit leather, from Gastronomy
Pear and cranberry individual pies, from My Baking Addiction
Pear cardamom upside down cake, from Eat, Live, Run
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.