As you can see, I've acquired another fun kitchen tool, a Microplane nutmeg grater. As an excuse to use the grater, I decided to rework a recipe from "The Baking Sheet" newsletter from the King Arthur Flour folks. The recipe I altered, "Cranberry Apricot Quick Bread," is a pretty standard quick bread, but with some tasty dried fruit.
I added even more variety by also adding dates and dried cherries to my version. My main alterations were the dried fruits, coconut flour for a portion of the all-purpose flour, almond milk for the cow's milk, and agave nectar for the sugar. My vegan friends can easily veganize this by adding baking soda, flaxseed meal, and apple cider vinegar for the three eggs, although you may need to noodle around with the amounts to get it right, and vegetable shortening for the butter.
After I'd waited until the loaf had cooled, I sliced it and tried some. It was very fruity, with a nice tangy flavor from the dried cranberries and sour cherries. It would be excellent with some whipped cream cheese or thick jam. I probably wouldn't change much, if I made it again, except maybe try it veganized. It's a nice quick bread and makes a fine hostess gift.
Here's the recipe according to my alterations:
Fruity Quick Bread
1 stick softened butter
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I used fruit-sweetened ones)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup walnuts
1. Lightly grease a standard sized loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cream together the butter, agave nectar, orange zest, salt, baking powder, and spices until well blended.
3. Add the eggs and mix well.
4. Mix in the flour until just blended.
5. Add the almond milk and stir well.
6. Fold in all the dried fruits and nuts.
7. Using a silicone spatula, scoop the mixture into your loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out with the barest minimum of crumbs.
8. Let the loaf cool in the pan, on a rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out and letting it cool completely on the rack.
9. Slice and enjoy!
Here's a short film of my loaf right before I popped it into the oven and after it had finished baking.