A few changes based on our family’s taste preferences and the fruits and nuts we had on hand. The deletable result is a low sugar, low-fat, whole grain loaf. It may be the best bread ever to touch my lips. The pinnacle of the quick loaf ascended.
Of course, figs and I are involved in a long-term, fruitful love affair – I am partial to them. When my husband wants to make me happ(ier), he buys me one of four things: coffee, chocolate, red wine – or figs: plump, soft, earthy and sweet.
Martine’s original recipe calls for a parsnip, pear and fig purée. I opted to use a homemade applesauce that we had on hand. Recently, a very sweet friend, Trisha, gave me a bag of fresh apples from a family orchard. We devoured most of them immediately – and made a batch of homemade applesauce with those remaining.
Baking is not necessarily stringent and scientific, but fun and creative. Substitutions can be easily made using ingredients of similar molecular structure and baking purpose – such as the case of applesauce. Do use your favorite fruit purée in this recipe. Flavors of banana, pear or even persimmon would be lovely.
Wishing you a sweet, fruitful and figgy New Year.
Spiced Fig and Apple Bread
1¼ cups white wheat flour, sifted
1/3 cup very fine white or yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fine salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fruit purée from apples or pears (I used my homemade applesauce)
2 tsp. best quality pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup Turkish figs, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
3 dried Turkish figs, sliced
canola oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350•F.
- Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins, chopped figs, nuts and spices.
- In a standing mixer, beat the brown sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla and fruit purée on medium-speed until combined.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is smooth.
- With the mixture on low-speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing just until blended.
- Scrape down the sides. Stir well with a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
- Evenly layer the sliced figs on top of the batter.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice and enjoy warm with butter or ginger preserves – or at room temperature on its own.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.