Pear, sage & hazelnut bread

Pear, sage & hazelnut bread

Nordic Light
15 mins
Cooking time
60 mins
Simon Bajada

I don’t understand why pears are not more often consumed. Perhaps it’s because their ‘sweet spot’ is a little less consistent than their rivals. A beautifully ripe pear is my favourite fruit. When baking with pears, I recommend using them ripe.


Quantity Ingredient
120g chopped hazelnuts
50g unsalted butter
5 sage stalks, leaves stripped
60g rolled oats
250g plain flour
200g wholemeal flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dark malt powder
95g dark brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
3 x 150g ripe pears, peeled and cored, 2 grated and 1 sliced to decorate
250ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
1 1/2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the chopped hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Watch carefully as they will burn easily. Set aside to cool.
  2. Lower the oven to 170ºC. Grease a 25 cm x 10 cm loaf tin with butter.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat together with the sage leaves. You don’t want to burn the butter here, just heat it until it starts to brown and the sage leaves turn a little crispy. Remove from the heat but keep in a warm place so that the butter remains liquid.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled toasted hazelnuts with the remaining dry ingredients. Break the eggs into a separate bowl, add the grated pear, buttermilk, warm sage butter and vanilla extract and whisk together well. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring together well, to form a heavy, wet dough halfway between a thick cake batter and a bread dough. Add a little more flour if the dough is looking a bit wet or a little extra buttermilk if too dry.
  5. Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top of the dough with the back of a spoon. Arrange the pear slices on top and sprinkle over a few teaspoons of dark brown sugar. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature, spread with butter and alongside coffee. This toasts beautifully the next day, like banana bread, and will keep for up to a week in a sealed bag in the refrigerator.
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