This is one of my favorites from childhood. I loved this tea bread. Mmmm… filled with walnuts, cranberries, orange zest and juice it is packed with flavor and texture. It was on my camp visiting day “request list” for years. That and chicken soup (that day my mom would bring me anything!) My mom used to toast it for me and then spread a little butter or cream cheese on it (at home, not at camp). So delicious. Greg’s friend Zach loved it – his mom Jodi reporting, “he woofed it down saying, this is good!” Sylvie loved it too. I quickly gave the rest of this one away for a Gilda’s club event (I couldn’t trust myself to not eat the whole thing) – so no one else got to try. Next time. This is good anytime of day, a breakfast treat, an afternoon tea break or even in the evening with ice cream (in a little mug for me). The cakey bread looks festive – which might be really nice for the holidays – especially if you have family coming in. It is dense like a fruitcake, but tastes nothing like a fruitcake (sorry if you love fruitcake!) Enjoy-
cranberry orange tea bread:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries (not dried), coarsely chopped
grated zest and juice from 1 large naval orange
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, well beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large loaf pan – or one medium and one small (I did this – I wanted to give a little one away), or a bunch of little loaf pans with butter and place parchment on the bottom, and butter again. Lightly flour and tap out excess.
In a large bowl, combine and stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, walnuts and cranberries.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the orange zest, and melted butter. Add enough orange juice so that your have 3/4 cup liquid (and zest) in total. If you have extra juice, take a shot. If you don’t have enough juice to reach 3/4 of a cup, add water so that you reach 3/4 cup. Add the beaten egg to this mixture.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix to just incorporate. It will be a very dense and thick batter. Spoon into prepared pans, and bake until done.
My medium sized loaf pan took 1 hour. My little one took 35 minutes. The cake will get nicely browned and the top will feel slightly firm to touch. You can use a toothpick too – to check. Try not to over bake (as usual) or the cake will dry out. (Although if you do – you can always slice, toast and spread a little butter on it to remedy!)