Monday, January 2, 2017

Drunken Fruit Bread

Lovey loves date nut bread to enjoy with his coffee in the mornings.  I can take it or leave it; I'm more of an eggs and bacon kind of gal.



 Lucille gave Lovey and me a basket of dried fruit for Christmas. It had dates, apricots, papaya, peaches, prunes, pineapple, and angelino plums

As you can see, there aren't enough dates for a loaf of bread so I thought I'd make a bread with a combination of all the fruits.  I also decided to soak all of the fruits in booze for three days rather than the 30 minutes the recipe normally suggests.


I chopped up about 2 cups of the fruit combo to fit in a pint mason jar (I packed the jar fairly tight).  Then I grabbed a bottle of brandy and poured over the fruit until it reached the top. There wasn't quite enough brandy in my bottle so I used a little rum to fill the jar. You can use whatever booze you choose; brandy just seems to pair well with fruit.

Put the lid on tight, give the jar a gentle shake and place in a cool, dark place for three days.  If you think about it you can give the jar a shake each day.


After three days of soaking it's time to bake.  Butter the bottom of the pan line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.


 Butter the parchment and the sides of the pan then sprinkle with flour.  Set the pan aside.


This is a typical quick bread recipe where the butter and sugar are creamed



then the eggs and flavorings are added



 The flour and spice mixture is added in alternately with the liquids which for this bread include freshly squeezed orange juice and the brandy from the fruit.

 

The fruits and nuts are then stirred in by hand



The batter is turned into the pan, put into a 350° oven


and this is what you get after about an hour.


It's a dense but moist bread with a beautiful texture and flavor.



Rather than the typical flavor of a date nut bread  this had the distinct flavor of a fruit cake due to the different fruits used along with the dates.   And it is v-e-r-y boozy.  I liked it with a slathering of butter.

Drunken Fruit Bread
Yield 1 loaf

Ingredients:
2 cups dried fruit, coarsely chopped
brandy
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. round cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

 Method:
 3 days prior to baking prepare the drunken fruit.  Chop all fruit and pack, somewhat tightly, into a pint Mason Jar.  Pour enough brandy into the jar to cover the fruit.  Secure lid tightly on to jar and store in a dark, cool place.

On baking day, preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare pan by buttering the bottom of an 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" x 2-1/2: loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.

In bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar. with the mixer on low speed add the egg, vanilla and the orange zest.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.  With the mixer still on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the butter mixture, mixing only until combined.

Drain the brandy from the fruit into a measuring cup.  Fold the fruit into the batter along with a little under 1/3 cup of the drained brandy (if you have more of 1/3 cup brandy drained off, treat yourself and sip on  it).  Fold the pecans into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.