Coronavirus !!!! There I have said it !!! Its the word on the lips of the entire country, the world is in the grips of this horrible virus, the world is on lockdown apart from key workers like myself, I am still going to the surgery to work but luckily at the moment I am still having Fridays off; for how much longer I don’t know, but for now I am making the most of it and baking for my family, todays bake is Pear and Banana Bread.

Luca and I absolutely love Banana Bread, on my Pinterest board I have so many recipes saved, todays recipe I was drawn to because it has pears in it and pears are one of my favourite fruits.

With food in short supply and extremely hard to get hold of I am trying to make as much as I can at home, using the ingredients that I have available. Banana Bread is always a good excuse to use up brown bananas but this recipe has pecans, maple syrup and pears in. I had the pears but no maple syrup or pecans, so I made do with honey and hazelnuts. The result was incredible, maybe the best banana bread that I have ever made.

This recipe was so simple, you don’t even need a food mixer for it, it is all made by hand, the results are delicious, moist, decadent Banana Bread.

So if you are stuck at home with your loved ones, or alone, why not bake. Even if you have never baked before try it and learn something new, its very relaxing and a great way to spend your time, but most of all please stay safe and well and WASH YOUR HANDS !!!

Buon appetito

100g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

3 (about 250g) really ripe bananas 

100g golden caster sugar

2 ripe but still firm Comice pears, cored and chopped, dusted in a little flour

1 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra to serve

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large free-range egg

150g plain flour

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g pecans, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 1 litre loaf tin (approx 21.5cm x 11 x 7cm) with baking paper so it overhangs the edges of the tin as this makes it easier to remove from the tin.

Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl, then stir in the melted butter and caster sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir through the pears, the maple syrup and vanilla extract, then beat in the egg. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then gently fold in, along with the pecans, using a metal spoon.

Pour the mix into the loaf tin, then bake for 45 minutes to one hour. The cake should be dark on top with a soft, moist sponge. Check it’s done by poking a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean it’s ready. 

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool. Drizzle with extra maple syrup to serve.