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Almonds and pears combine to make this rich, moist tea bread.
Almond-Pear Bread
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup almond paste, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
To make paste:
Use metal blade to process blanched almonds and sugar until finely ground, about 60 seconds. With machine running, add water and extract; process until combined, about 45 to 60 seconds longer. Paste can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

To make bread:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat one 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with the nonstick cooking spray. Toast sliced almonds on a baking sheet until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; reserve.

Insert metal blade and process pears, egg, almond paste and butter until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape bowl and process an additional 30 to 45 seconds. Add toasted almonds and reserved dry ingredients. Pulse to combine, about 6 to 7 times. Pour into prepared pan and bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. For best results wrap bread in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 24 hours before slicing.

Servings: Makes 12 servings

Nutritional information per serving

Calories 165 (40% from fat) - carb. 22g - pro. 4g - fat 8g - sat. fat 1g - chol. 18mg - sod. 62mg - calc. 62mg - fiber 2g

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