Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Christmas Fruit Bread
I tried a new recipe yesterday which we really liked quite well. Neither Mr. T or I are big fruitcake fans, as we just don’t care for the bitter peels and citron in most fruitcakes. Yet I really like giving fruit-filled breads and cakes at Christmas; they seem so festive. I have a Golden Apricot Cake recipe which is always a big hit with the recipients, but am always on the lookout for more recipes like this. Yesterday I tried this one, adapted somewhat (including the name) from an older Country Woman magazine.
CHRISTMAS FRUIT BREAD
1 15-ounce box raisins
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 8-ounce package chopped dates
5 1/2 cups flour (divided use)
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (do not drain; use juice and all)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 6-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
In saucepan cook the raisins in water for about 15 minutes, until plumped. Drain the raisins, reserving the liquid. Set both liquid and raisins aside to cool, separately.
In a very large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add the reserved liquid from raisins; combine well.
In a smaller bowl, combine the drained raisins, the dates, and 1 cup flour; stir this into the creamed mixture. Sift the remaining 4 1/2 cups flour with the baking soda and the salt; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in the pineapple/juice, nuts, and cherries. Fill well-greased loaf pans about 2/3 full of batter. Bake at 350º for 30 to 60 minutes depending on size of pans. When a toothpick comes out clean, the loaves are done.
This recipe calls for four 7 1/2x3 1/2 x3-inch loaf pans. I used 3 that were smaller than that, and also 9 smaller ones. This is a LOT of batter. It says you could also use 16-ounce to 20-ounce tin cans, clean and well-greased, instead of loaf pans, and if you do this the batter will fill 8 to 9 of these cans.
The bread is very tasty -- we sampled one of the loaves, as we wanted to be sure it was good before we gave any of this bread away.