Apricot Almond Bread

“Moist and tart with apricots and crunchy with almonds, this bread is ideal for brunches and teas. It’s also good as a mid evening semi-dessert, when you want something sweet but not too sweet.” True that.

It suggested 1 ½ hours but when I checked on it after 1 hour, it was done and the apricots on top were a little burnt. Bready, not cakey. Dense and hearty, but moist. There’s something about the apricots that really bring out the creaminess of butter without the fat and without too much buttery mouthfeel. I agree—would be perfect paired with a cup of coffee or hot tea.

40 min to prep
1 to 1 ½ hours to bake
1 ½ C thinly sliced dried apricots
1 ½ C water

2 ½ C flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter
½ C real maple syrup or honey
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp orange rind (I omitted)
1 C finely chopped almonds (I used some slightly crushed sliced almonds)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray oil the loaf pan or butter it.

Place apricots and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium sized bowl (I just removed from the stove yet kept it in the pot), and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together dry ingredients except for almonds in a separate bowl.

Stir in the butter plus honey/syrup into the apricot mixture. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients, orange, and almonds. Mix minimally but well.

Spread into the prepared pan (the batter will look dry) and bake about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until a probe inserted all the way down comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then rap the pan firmly a few times on its sides and bottom. The bread should slip right out. Cool at least 15 minutes more before attempting to slice it. (Although I was really impatient and simply used a good serrated knife to go at it and it worked just fine.)

Yield: 1 large loaf, Moosewood Cookbook

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