We’re back, live, with another food-blogging marathon. This month, we’re streaming APPLES and we’re kicking it off with a scrumptious apple-orange-cranberry loaf. I say “we.” It’s just me – back from an exciting weekend at the Breeders’ Cup down at the Santa Anita race track near Los Angeles. Zenyatta, the filly, came from behind to beat all the boys yesterday. It was a thrill to be there for the historic event, surrounded by the stars of my favorite tv shows, no less. Somebody pinch me. It’s time to wake up and make the donuts. Or the quick bread as the case may be.
Now this loaf is a little different from my usual quick bread recipes. It’s denser and gooeyer than say, the Apple Pomegranate Spice Bread I made last year or the Ultimate Pumpkin Bread I made last month. Both of those were light, fluffy, hi-rising quick breads. This one worried me a bit because it didn’t rise up high like those. But when I tasted it, I understood what was going on with the recipe. It’s a “loaf” not a bread. It’s denser, but I wouldn’t say it’s heavier. It’s more concentrated. If you’re eager to make a lighter, fluffier loaf, there are a few adjustments you could make to the recipe below: go lighter on the orange juice than I did. I added the juice from both (small) oranges, but I think the juice of just one of the oranges could have sufficed. Then add one more egg to the mix and you’ll be all set. Also, make sure you don’t overfill the baking pan. The recipe yields about 1/4 cup too much batter for my 9×5 pan. For the best results, discard the excess batter and fill the pan 2/3 full.
Makes 1 loaf
2 small oranges or 1 large orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 egg beaten
3 Tbsp melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Squeeze the oranges and reserve the juice. Scoop the extra pulp out of the rinds and chop the rinds into small slices. Put orange rind and dried cranberries in a food processor and chop until ground pretty finely. In a medium bowl, mix together the applesauce, chopped rind, dried cranberries and orange juice.
3. In a large bowl, mix together with a whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add the applesauce mixture and the nuts. Mix thoroughly, but be careful not to overmix. Add the eggs and the melted butter and mix.
4. Spray 1 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour in the batter. Make sure that there is about an inch of space between the top of the batter and the top of the pan. Pour off excess if necessary. Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Remove loaf from pan to cool completely and let sit overnight before cutting.