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Friday, February 06, 2004

Apricot Ginger Quick Bread:Recipe

I buy bags of dried fruit all the time and promptly forget that I have them. Then one day, I go rummaging around and realize I had better do something before it all turns into an archeological discovery for future generations. I also try to keep small amounts of nuts on hand because they too don't last forever. What I can't use quickly I store in the freezer and that's meant to be a temporary solution. Unless of course I forget that they're in there and then they too can become relics of a time gone by.

What I intend to do with dried fruits and nuts is to snack on them, add them to homemade granola or bake with them. I'm not much of a baker, but I do like making quick breads. Quick breads are breads that do not use yeast to rise and so they are much "quicker" than the traditional breads that need time to rise and rest. Quick breads just cry out for dried fruits and nuts. Banana bread is a classic example of a quick bread. And frankly, it's the bananas and nuts that make banana bread so good in the first place.

This week I developed a recipe for an even quicker quick bread. How so? Because everything is done in the food processor and no bowls mean less time cleaning up. This recipe uses the food processor, measuring cups and measuring spoons, and a spatula--that's it. It's also a great way to use up dried apricots and walnuts you bought never mind when.

Note: Though I created this recipe with dried apricots, I think you could substitute other dried fruit like dried peaches, pears or prunes for the apricots with satisfying results.

Apricot Ginger Quick Bread


1/2 cup apricots
1/2 cup hot water
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 375 degres. In a one cup measuring cup place the apricots and cover with the hot water. In the food processor blend the butter and sugar until well combined, using the metal blade, not the plastic one. Add the apricots and water, walnuts and eggs. Process until blended. Add in the dry ingredients, pulse a few times until mixed. Pour into a well-greased 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack before slicing.