Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Autumn Fruit Bread

Dear Autumn Fruit Bread,
I love you. You are cranlicious, nutty, and comforting. You are zesty, yet mild, citruslightful, yet wild. You are my favorite and my best, right now.

The recipe is inspired from something I found on the back of a cranberry package, many years ago. Like twenty. Twenty years ago. No, maybe thirty. Thirty years ago. I was just born. Not really. It just feels freakishly wrong that I can look back thirty years and recall anything at all. Time. It's passing.

Oh. So. I've made this Autumn Fruit Bread, with its cranberries, and citrus, and nuts, for quite some time, and happily I had everything on hand, yesterday, when our oven heated, to revisit this favorite recipe.

Here is a list of ingredients, in case you want to make some, too...

Autumn Fruit Bread
Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
1.5 cups of coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
3/4 cups of orange juice... I love it pulpy
2 heaping tablespoons of minced orange... include fruity bits
2 heaping tablespoons of minced lime... also fruity bits
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of softened butter
A well beaten egg
2 cups of flour
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder... not soda!
1 teaspoon of salt
.5 teaspoon of baking soda... Hold on! I realize, I forgot to add this yesterday. Hmmm... oh well, didn't hurt!
.5 cup of chopped nuts... love the pecans, could be walnuts

I like to start with the fruits, juice, and sugar, and get them all together. I think it helps sweeten the fruit, which is good, because we are baking some chunky tart bits. And by the way, I love the chunky tart bits, so I do not cut out the orange rind, or worry about cutting bitty pieces of cranberry. If I had kumquats, I'd toss in a tablespoon, or two, of those, too. It's rustic-wild-zippy-zingy Autumn Fruit Bread.

My knife is dull. It's a beautiful knife... a gift from Geoff. Alex and I have been looking around for a knife sharpener, as a gift for Geoff. Aren't I lucky? I like my beautiful knife, and cooking, and Geoff likes the gadgets that keep things working properly. We make a good team, I think.

I love the graphics Trader Joe's uses on their products.
Just saying.

I asked Max to pass me the walnuts, but he could only find the pecans. And. I like pecans, so we chopped those up, and I have no regrets.

I love this little chopper machine. I have no idea who made it. I think it was a gift from my father-in-law. It works with a crank, so I can chop nuts, even in a power outage. Phil gave it to us many years ago. Like twenty. Twenty years ago. No, maybe thirty. Thirty years ago. I was just born. Not really.

While the fruit is sitting in orange juice and sugar, mixing and mingling, I sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda... if I remember the baking soda. Ahem. Then I add the nuts. I read, somewhere, that the nuts coated in the flour are less likely to sink to the bottom of the bread, and I believed it, so that's how I do it.

I drop those dry ingredients on top of the cranberry-fruit bog, and start folding it all together. When the mix is all wet and incorporated, I turn my attention to the bread pans.

Tiny pans! I had doubled the recipe, which meant I had twice as much un-added baking soda... which meant I could bake some small loaves and share them with friends, or hoard them, and delight in the knowledge that I had tiny stashes of my favorite fruit bread! Win-win, either way.

I gave the tiny pans a quick spritz of Canola spray. You know, choose your bread pan and grease it, so your rustic-wild-zippy-zingy Autumn Fruit Bread doesn't stick to the pan.

Don't fill them to the top. These are about two thirds full, and ready to go in the oven for... oh, dang it... I forgot to time it. I started to time it. I put them in at 9:40 am, and then I meant to see what time they came out of the oven. I took them out when they smelled amazing, and looked good enough to eat. I hope that helps. Can you believe no publisher has ever approached me about writing a cookbook!?

Four little loaves, and one shallow loaf in a traditional bread pan. Golden, and hot. You may be surprised to know this, but they actually taste even better spread with a little butter. It's true.

Moist, tangy, chunky, nutty... Autumn Fruit Bread. Enjoy!


ArtyZen said...

Love you, Natalie, love your recipe. If I were a publisher, I'd approach you. I find you very approachable. Publish. I have always ignored calls for baking soda. Axxx

Sylvia said...