To say that my kids go gaga over this bread would be putting it mildly. They inhale the entire loaf in minutes and ask for more! The mandarin extract is what makes this loaf smell and taste deliciously citrus-y. For a more subtle bread, you can lessen or omit the extract, and call it plain old Pear Walnut Bread. (I haven't made it that way, so I can't vouch for the outcome.) Oh, and just so you have an idea, this is a very sweet and moist banana-bread type bread, rather than a dry and dense sandwich-loaf type bread.
Citrus Pear Walnut Bread
2 chilled pears (approx. 1 1/2 cups when grated)
1 cup walnuts, ground
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. natural (unsweetened) applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. mandarin extact
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
margarine (to grease pan)
Place oven rack so that it's in the lower third of the oven, but not on the bottom most rung. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch glass loaf pan with margarine. (If all you have is an aluminum pan, increase the preheated oven temperature to 350 degrees...and note that cooking time may differ.)
Peel the pears and then grate them. (2 pears should yield approx. 1 1/2 cups when grated.) Set aside. In a small food processor, grind the walnuts until they resemble crumbs (about 15 seconds). Set aside.
In a bowl, stir together all dry ingredients plus the ground walnuts.
In a separate (small) bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until the oil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add the pears and whisk a few seconds more. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.
Scrape batter evenly into loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes. (Or until toothpick comes out clean.)
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out bread. Then let it cool completely on a rack before cutting.
Oh, and remember to grab a piece for yourself before you let your kids at it!