Brrrrr! As I sit down to write this post I'm wrapped up in more layers than I've worn for a while. The evening is really chilly and it feels as though winter is well and truly on the way. Truthfully the overnight low is only around 10 degrees celsius - nothing by the standards of some snowy cities I've lived in - but I'm a real baby when it comes to winter and I'm starting to feel very apprehensive about the colder months ahead of us.
Comfort for me comes in the form of delicious food (no surprise there). The icy months are the perfect time to enjoy this comforting loaf. The dates provide not only sweetness but also a beautiful caramel flavour. Ginger and all it's companion spices deliver the warmth you want while chunks of sweet pear add both lightness and for me a feeling of nostalgia.
This very easy recipe is gluten free, dairy free (if using coconut oil) and refined sugar free. It makes an excellent shared brunch dish or can add some much needed sparkle to a boring packed work lunch.
A thick slice of delicious ginger and pear loaf spread thickly with butter is helping me face this silly old winter business head on.
Wrap up warm and get baking!
Rustic ginger, pear & buckwheat loaf
1 1/2 cup dates - soaked in warm water for 30 minutes prior
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
5 free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 slightly heaped tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups ground almonds / almond meal
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
pinch sea salt
1 large pear (or equivalent) chopped into cubes.
Additional pear (sliced) for decorating the top of the loaf.
Preheat your oven to 165 degrees celsius
Place your soaked dates into a food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree with the dates almost entirely broken up.
Add the eggs, buckwheat flour, vanilla and all the spices. Process until very well combined.
Add the almonds and melted butter / coconut oil. Process until completly combined.
Pour / spoon your batter into a bowl and mix through the pear until evenly dispersed.
Spoon the batter into a lined loaf tin. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Arrange your sliced pears along the top.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
Leave to cool almost entirely before slicing.
Store in the fridge for up to five days. This will freeze well and toasts beautifully.