From The Festive Bread Book by Kathy Cutler. I made this the first time in honor of a Swiss colleague who was interning with us. I asked her if it was like birnbrot at home and she laughed and said that it was not, but that it was very good. I'm not sure what the difference is, as I've never had it when in Switzerland. But it's a very nice Christmas bread and has the added benefit of using dried pears, a convenience when fresh pears are not in season.