Absolute showstopper. Fun to make. Super flavor.

For me, there was no better way to celebrate our 2013 Barleywine release today than with a beer-infused, AK Beer Week treat. This was a new recipe for me. I saw it in Cooking Light magazine and KNEW I had to try it. Any flavorful, rich beer would be great in this recipe – try HooDoo Stout, the Vanilla Porter, or English Mild.

TIP: After poaching the pears, don’t toss out the poaching liquid. It’s infused with a lovely Barleywine and pear essence. I mean, it is ridiculous! It would be great in cocktails, drizzled on cake or your morning oatmeal, or stirred into yogurt…so be sure to save it.

HooDoo Brewing Co. Vanilla Porter Quick Bread

Barleywine for the pear hot tub + Porter for the bread = Beer for the cook.

HooDoo Vanilla Porter Quick Bread w/ Barleywine Poached Pears

Hands-on: 25 min. Total: 1 hr. 45 min.

2 cups water
2 cups HooDoo 2014 Barleywine
2 cups granulated sugar
3 small whole Bosc or Bartlett pears
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
7.88 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup HooDoo Vanilla Porter (Stout or English Mild)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
Baking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Bring 2 cups water, 2 cups Barleywine and granulated sugar to a slow boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add whole pears – do not skin or core; reduce heat to medium, and cook at a medium-low boil for 5 minutes or just until pears start to soften. You want the pears firm in the center, so when poked with a knife, it should stick about 1/4″ down. Remove pears from pan; cool slightly. Trim bottom off each pear so that it is about the height of a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan. Lightly brush 1 1/2 teaspoons flour over bottom 2/3 of each pear. Set aside.

3. Pour yourself some of that Barleywine to sip on while you pull together the batter.

4. Weigh or lightly spoon 7.88 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine Porter, sour cream, and syrup in another medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and beer mixture alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined.

5. Scrape batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Arrange pears in pan, pressing into batter. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

6. Slice and EAT with a bit of Porter to wash it all down…oh, and of course, share with a few good friends.

* Adapted from Cooking Light