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Sunny combination for chilly winter morning

Recipe: Orange cranberry bread full of bright flavor

Loaf of tea bread with orange slices
Oranges and cranberries complement each
other in this sunny tea bread. (Photos: Debbie
Arrington)



Oranges and cranberries naturally complement each other – and not just in Thanksgiving relish.

This simple tea bread makes the most of those bright and sunny flavors, and it’s good for you, too. Both oranges and cranberries are packed with vitamin C.

This recipe was inspired by Nicole Routhier’s excellent “Fruit Cookbook” (Workman Publishing, 1996). This version has been tweaked to play up the oranges and fresh citrus flavors. It takes about two to three fresh oranges to yield the necessary juice.

So close to the holidays, fresh cranberries are still available. (You may have some in the refrigerator right now.) By mixing the fruit with the flour, it stays suspended in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom of the baking pan. Avoid over-mixing; that brings out the gluten in the flour and toughens the tea bread.

Without too much sugar or butter, this tea bread comes out with a lovely golden crust – and lots of fruit flavor. It’s just what you need on a chilly winter morning.

Oranges, juice and cranberries
Here's a fresh wintry mix: Oranges, which have
just come into season, and cranberries, still
available in stores.
Orange cranberry bread


Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 large eggs

½ cup sugar

¾ cup fresh orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)

1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated

¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine, melted and cooled

Loaf of tea bread sliced in half
Both dried and fresh cranberries add color and sweet-tart
flavor to this bread.

Instructions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease loaf pan, preferably 8-1/2-by-4-1/2-by-2-1/2-inches; set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add cranberries, raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts to flour mixture. Stir until well combined and fruit is covered with flour.

In another bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add sugar, then orange juice and zest. Stir in melted butter.

In the big bowl, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the juice mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t over-mix. Batter will be very thick.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until top is golden brown and a skewer or toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan.

Serve warm.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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