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.
  1. Using kitchen shears, cut each apricot in half lengthwise.
  2. Holding halves together, cut four or five times crosswise.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine apricot pieces and orange juice.
  4. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  5. Allow to rest until apricots have absorbed most of the liquid, about 1 hour.
  6. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  7. Place a baking sheet in oven. Spray or oil a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and if desired, line with parchment paper.
  8. Melt butter in a microwave oven or small saucepan; reserve.
  9. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  10. In a large bowl, blend together reserved butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and orange zest.
  11. Mix in eggs one at a time, then mashed bananas, apricots, and nuts.
  12. Stir in flour mixture one-third at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  13. Scrape dough into pan, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  14. Place pan on a rack to cool.
  15. To serve, remove from pan, and slice thinly.
  16. Serve at room temperature.