Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf

I was flipping through the Dorie book last night looking for something to make and settled on this quick bread. It seemed like a basic, homey recipe that would come together quickly -- and I was right... I just didn't find the flavors or the texture that interesting.

The recipe calls for one apple or pear diced up, and some dried apple or pear as well. I had the fresh apple on hand, but no dried apples. I did have dried figs, apricots, raisins, cherries, currants and cranberries though... I decided to use cranberries because I thought the description of the bread sounded very Americana to me and I figured cranberries would be the best fit.

It didn't help the flavor any that I overcooked it a bit leaving the bottom just a touch dark. It wasn't that it tasted bad... it just didn't taste like much of anything. And considering that there are other fairly easy recipes that use apples and other fruit in this book, I'm not quite sure what the point is. I probably won't be repeating it with apples myself, but I am curious how it would taste using pears instead...


1 cup buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 apple or pear, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
1/2 cup diced dried apple or pear

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, making sure they are evenly combined. Switch to a large rubber spatula and stir in the liquid ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened -- as with muffins, less mixing is better than more. Gently stir in the the fresh and dried fruit, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 1 hour, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding. Invert and cool right side up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i understand your americana impulse to reach for cranberries, but they probably overwhelmed the cornmeal, which indeed would beg the question "what's the point?" a more subtle flavor such as apple or pear would probably provide better balance to the cornmeal.