What to do with over ripe pears?

Some pears looking to be saved from the worm farm!
Some pears looking to be saved from the worm farm!

What to do with overripe pears? My sister works for Batlow apples, so I am always well supplied with apples and when my son surprised me one day by declaring his love to pears, I inherited a lot of pears. We have slowely been making our way through the pears, but yesterday I noticed a few were looking particularly sad and had been placed in the sink, ready for their journey to the worm farm. But, rather than give these to my worms, much to my children’s chagrin (looking at the worms in my worm farm is like the highlight of their day. They stand there squealing with delight at all the wriggling, squirmy and squishy action!), I decided to ask some friends for ideas on what to do with them. I mean I had no idea for recipes really. Some suggestions that came in were:
– Banana and Pear Loaf;
– Danish; and
– Muffins.

So I decided on a Banana and Pear loaf which my niece and daughter delighted in helping me back. This is the recipe that I followed:

I followed this recipe overall except that I used 2 bananas, used more pear (about 2) by grating them into the ‘wet’ mixture and lastly, I did not add walnuts because my niece is allergic to nuts.
Thank you Alchemy Kitchen (http://www.alchemyinthekitchen.ie/2012/05/banana-pear-and-coconut-loaf-reason-to.html)
Banana, Pear and Coconut Loaf
250g very ripe bananas, mashed (that’s about 3 medium bananas)
100g sunflower oil (or other flavourless cooking oil)
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
50g dessicated shredded coconut (unsweetened)
10g baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 soft sweet ripe pear, such as Rocha, chopped into small pieces
a little butter to grease the loaf tin
1. First, lightly butter and base line a 2 lb loaf tin.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas roughly using a fork or a potato masher. Add the oil and caster sugar and stir together until just combined. Next add the beaten eggs, again stirring until just combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and fold these dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just incorporated and no dry mix remains. (To fold, add dry ingredients to wet and taking a spatula or a metal spoon, cut through the centre of the batter. Move the spatula or spoon across the bottom of the bowl, and back up the side and across the top bringing some of the cake mixture from bottom to top. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Keep folding the mixture and turning the bowl until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Folding avoids overworking the batter, giving a tender crumb in the finished loaf.) Finally, mix in the chopped pear, making sure it is well-distributed throughout the mixture.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. A cocktail stick inserted in the centre should come out clean. If there is batter clinging to it, pop the loaf back in the oven for a further 10 minutes then test again. Leave to cool in the tin. While you can eat it straight away, this cake is best wrapped in cling film and left for 24 hours before eating. A wonderful alchemy takes place and it becomes more banana-y, pear-y and utterly delicious.

In the oven
In the oven
Yummo!We did not wait 24 hours to enjoy this treat!
Yummo!We did not wait 24 hours to enjoy this treat!