FRUITY BANANA BREAD
- Cooking Time: 60
- Servings: 10-12
- Preparation Time: 30
- 4 ounces ( 1/2 cup, packed) dried apricots
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil, for greasing pan
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (about 3 medium) mashed very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or granulated white sugar.
- Using kitchen shears, cut each apricot in half lengthwise.
- Holding halves together, cut four or five times crosswise.
- In a small saucepan, combine apricot pieces and orange juice.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
- Allow to rest until apricots have absorbed most of the liquid, about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place a baking sheet in oven. Spray or oil a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and if desired, line with parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a microwave oven or small saucepan; reserve.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, blend together reserved butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and orange zest.
- Mix in eggs one at a time, then mashed bananas, apricots, and nuts.
- Stir in flour mixture one-third at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Scrape dough into pan, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
- Place pan on a rack to cool.
- To serve, remove from pan, and slice thinly.
- Serve at room temperature.
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