Whenever I make this bread, I am reminded of witches. I can’t help but think it would be wonderful for a cakes and ale ceremony on Esbat or Sabbat – especially one performed in autumn’s harvest months. On a more practical front, it’s also great for breakfast and as a snack to fortify an obsessive artist, writer or student.
The bread’s specialness comes from the WHOLE fruits it contains, as well as the richness of its honey and spices. It’s texture, density and weight is something like a banana or zucchini bread. It’s flavor is reminiscent of traditional Christmas fruit cake, but fresher.
It contains several nutrient-rich superfoods, and I don’t think the addition of some nuts or seeds would hurt it any. (Maybe I’ll try that next time.)
HONEY & FRUIT HARVEST BREAD
DETAILED, ILLUSTRATED INSTRUCTIONS
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Butter short sides of 2 loaf pans, and line center of pans with parchment paper.
3) In bowl #1, assemble, then mix:
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (canola)
- 1/2 cup honey (Use the same cup you measured the oil in, it makes the honey pour out easier; use a rubber spatula to get all the honey.)
- 1/2 cup sugar
4) In bowl #2, assemble, then mix:
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
5) Measure raisins. Do not pack. Set aside. (Do not blend with apple and orange.)
- 1 small – medium apple
6) Wash, quarter, remove stem and seeds. (Do not peel.) Then chop.
This will yield approximately 2 cups chopped fruit.
- 1 tangerine OR 3-4 clementines (These have lovely aromatic oils in the skin, but little bitter, white pith.)
7) Wash thin-skinned orange-like fruit and trim off stem end. (Do not peel.) Then chop fruit, discarding seeds.
This will yield approximately 1 cup of chopped fruit.
8) In blender or food processor, combine chopped orange and chopped apple. Pulse until finely chopped.
This can be a pain. Be patient. Don’t reach in with fingers. If necessary, remove blender canister from base, turn upside down and thump to free fruit, then continue.
9) When apple and orange are finely chopped, add 3/4 cup liquid, as follows:
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup STRONG brewed coffee, not hot (I use some of my iced coffee concentrate.)
As long as this totals 3/4 cup, you can use any proportion you like. Next time I’ll be including a shot of apple brandy or something similar.
10) Blend fruit and the 3/4 cup of liquids to create a puree.
There can, and should be, bits of identifiable fruit in the final mix.
ASSEMBLE THE LOAVES:
11) Add and mix approximately half of the blended fruit mixture into the eggs, oil, sugar, honey mixture in bowl #1.
12) Add and mix approximately half of the flour mixture into bowl #1.
14) Stir in golden raisins.
15) Divide batter evenly into 2 prepared loaf pans.
16) Bake approximately 40-45 minutes, until toothpick test shows only crumbs and not batter.
17) Let cool in pans until easy to handle. Lift out with parchment paper.
18) Remove parchment and let cool completely.
MAKE IT SHINY:
If desired, make honey / juice glaze as follows:
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon clementine, tangerine or orange juice
Brush mixture over completely cooled loaves, 1- 3 times at approximately half-hour intervals.
This does soak into the bread, creating a flavorful but sticky “crust”. It’s pretty, but I prefer to leave the honey fruit bread plain. (Which makes it easier to eat as a snack while at the keyboard.)
Primary recipe category: Food for Writers / Artists / Other Obsessives (Also qualified to be on the Gorgeous / Decadent list.)