This is yet another recipe inspired by The New California Cook (see my new sidebar at lower right titled "Cole's Favorites" for more info!). I made it last weekend and ate a slice for breakfast as I was driving to work each day this past week. We're down to the last couple of slices, which are understandably a bit dry since it's been a week since they were baked. I'm thinking about turning them into french toast this morning...
I made a few modifications to the original recipe: I substituted whole wheat flour for white flour, maple syrup for white sugar, and added some apple sauce for extra moisture. Also the recipe called for the bread to be baked in a 9x5" pan, but since I don't have one of those, I split it between two 8x4" pans (if you use a 9x5" pan, the original recipe says you should bake it for 60 minutes). The recipe below reflects my modifications.
Makes 2 8" loaves
2/3 c. pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. apple sauce
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 pears, peeled cored and coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8x4" loaf pans.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and maple syrup on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the apple sauce, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and blend well on low speed. Add the pear and pecans and mix well on low speed.
Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until slightly browned and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn bread out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing.