Candied-Orange Spice Prune Loaf

 

Neah and Papa brought prunes.   Every time they come to visit, my grandparents bring food.  When we were younger, it was always a box of doughnuts, and then whatever they had in excess that needed to be shared- a box of apples, walnuts, raisins, some frozen fruit, and, oh yes, prunes.  The prunes were so overly dried that we couldn’t sink are teeth into them; being inventive as I am, I sure tried.  My mother would throw the prunes into the big chest freezer and there they’d stay.  When I started leaving for college, I’d raid the freezer.  I would inevitably take a bag of raisins and walnuts, but always left the prunes.  Sadly, just no easy way to eat them.

On a whim, I finally decided to grab a bag of those prunes on my last trip home.  Surely, they could be used for something.  Then one day in early September, an epiphany.  I kept finding the lovely Italian prune plums at the markets.  I wanted to use them in a loaf of some sort but inevitably kept eating them fresh before I ever got around to baking.  And then, with the last bite of the fresh plums in my hand, I pulled out an old recipe I’d been meaning to adapt and there it was.  The answer.  All these years, I’d been avoiding my grandparents prunes and all they needed was a bit of re-hydration!

Now that I’ve tested this recipe so many times I had to go purchase the not-so-overly dried prunes at our nearby farmstand, I really must say it is my new autumn favorite.  Molasses, prunes, spices, and candied-orange peel.  Not sickly sweet, nor overly-indulging–just a bit of perfection with a nice cup of steaming tea.

Candied-Orange Spice Prune Loaf
9 1/2 oz. gf flour mix (about 2 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup prunes, diced (about 18 whole prunes)
1/3 cup candied orange peel, diced
1/2 cup orange syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 egg 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
 
  • Pour boiling water over prunes. Let rest for five minutes.  While prunes are resting, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 9″ x 5″ baking dish.  Line it with a small handful of oats.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Measure out orange syrup, molasses, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add them all to the prune mixture.  Feel free to substitute honey for the orange syrup.
  • Pour liquids into dry mixture and stir in the candied peel.
  • Dish into the prepared baking pan.  Level with a rubber spatula and sprinkle a few more oats on top for good measure.
  • Bake for approximately 55 minutes.
  • If you can, store this loaf away in the fridge for a day or two before eating.  The flavors will be enhanced!
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4 responses to “Candied-Orange Spice Prune Loaf

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