This orange/apricot/date loaf hits a lot of sweet spots…the tang of the grated oranges, the flavouring of the orange juice itself, the moistness of the apricots and dates…I could go on. One of my sons said that this loaf was like a burst of sunshine. So if you want to make something sunny and yummy, here you go…
Ingredients for two loaves:
- Two medium sized oranges
- Zest of the two oranges
- 1 cup diced apricots
- 1 cup pitted and diced dates
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
Prepare the two loaf pans by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray such as Pam. If you don’t have cooking spray, grease lightly with butter and lightly flour.
Grate the two oranges and set aside the zest. Squeeze the juice of the two oranges and pour the juice into a medium saucepan. Add the diced apricots and dates to the suacepan, set heat to low and let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes in the covered pot so that the orange juice from the squeezed oranges is absorbed. Remove lid and let cool while you work on the rest of the recipe.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating for another 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and baking powder with a whisk so that everything is well incorporated.
Add the flour to the egg/sugar/butter mixture alternating it with the orange juice. Fold in the steamed fruit and rind. Turn into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Turn out loaves onto a wire rack to cool. Enjoy plain or iced.