Ornaments placed on the tree, Vince Guarldi serenades me, as stockings hang above the fireplace. Little girls dance while taking orders for steamed milk & Americanos. As the winter nights take residence, our home lay warm & snug. A little family bundled in jammies & cozy blankies...this is what December is made of.
Gingerbread houses mortared with sticky sweet sugar paste, adorned with candy gems. Tying up loose ends, but the oven calls to me. The quiet, dark mornings speak of hot coffee with cream, warmed milk drinkers lazily crawling upon the chairs, and sauteed pear gingerbread.
When the house is warming up, I peel the pears, measure, pour & stir. The ripping parchment tucks inside the loaf pan. Aromas of deep, licorce molasses pairs with generous amounts of ginger. I feel like I fell right out of the little house at Plum Creek. My milk drinkers jump, eagerly peer into the lit oven awaiting this breakfast morsel (they're the perfect tasters this mama ever knew).
The bell chimes, they scoot back, and I pull out the beautifully darkened loaf. We don't wait for cooling. The paper slides right out. I peel it down to expose the steam billowing from this freshly baked gingerbread. Girls have plates in tow as they joyfully exclaim, "Here you go mama!" We cut into it, and I sneak a bite. I pause, close my eyes, sigh. The husband tears off a piece, goes for another, while nodding his head with approval. Yes, this is what a cold December morning should look like.
Sauteed Pear Gingerbread Loaf (printable recipe)
This is a grain & dairy free gingerbread. It's not overly sweet & very fitting to eat with a hot cup of coffee with breakfast.
3 cups blanched almond flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup coconut oil
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
1 small pear, peeled & small chop
1 tsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir to blend together. Combine the eggs, coconut oil & maple syrup/honey together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Stir to combine thoroughly.
In a small saute pan, heat over medium. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil & add the peeled, small chop pears. Saute till soft & a little color is added. Don’t worry about this part. I use “saute” liberally as a term. Saute for about 4 minutes.
Take a piece of parchment paper & place inside a loaf pan. I used a 9 inch one. You will push the parchment paper down & along the sides & in the corners. You’ll have some of the paper overlapping. Add ¼ of the batter & spread it evenly the bottom, including the corners. Add ¼ of the pears over the batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the pan. Take the remaining sauteed pears & put them evenly over the batter. Bake for an hour.
Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove by taking hold of the parchment paper & pulling it out of the loaf pan. The parchment should peel off easily. Slice & eat!