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I moved into my first apartment in the spring of 1993, and had always been a cook/baker, but I really got to hone my skills once I had a kitchen that was 100% mine.
Okay…mine and my brother’s since he was my roommate, but he didn’t really cook much…so it was basically all mine!
I had been collecting recipes for ages already, and have had a subscription to Taste of Home Magazine (click here if you can’t find it in your favorite store https://amzn.to/386VhUS ) on and off since its premiere issue.
This recipe (which I’ve tweaked, of course) was printed in the mid-nineties I think, though I don’t know exactly what year.
I do know that I started selling candy, fudge, and baked goods at craft shows in late 1995, and this was on the menu by early 1996.
For the shows, I baked this in three 8 inch round pans. For home use or to give as gifts, I use two 8 or 9 inch rounds.
The original recipe called for a loaf pan and a longer baking time, but was worried that it might be too dry.
This bread is slightly sweet from the cranberry sauce, dried fruit, and the cup of sugar that’s in it, but it IS a bread–not a cake.
It’s good by itself, but it’s REALLY good spread with softened butter, cream cheese, or flavored butter.
What you’ll need:
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup mixed dried fruit–I use apples, cranberries, cherries, and apricots and chop them into small pieces
1 cup raisins
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup shortening, melted (or 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
1/4 cup warm water
In a medium bowl, combine the nuts, fruit, and raisins and toss with 1/4 cup of flour. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy, then add the orange juice, water, and shortening or oil.
Slowly add two cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat just until combined, then add the remaining 1-3/4 cups of flour.
Once it’s just incorporated into the batter, add the cranberry sauce, and beat just until everything is combined.
Fold in the fruit and nut mixture and spoon into two or three eight or nine inch round pans that have been greased and floured.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes (maybe a little longer if using two pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool and serve for dessert or breakfast. These also keep well, so you can wrap them in foil and freeze for up to three months.
You can adjust these to your liking by using different fruit, different nuts, leaving out the nuts, etc. It’s your food–make it the way you want it!