I love quick breads! They are easy to put together, usually not too sweet, keep well, and are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of breakfast or afternoon tea or coffee. It was the prunes and port description that caught my eye when I made a routine visit to My German Kitchen…in the Rockies and saw this quick bread recipe. Kirsten’s blog is filled with enticing recipes and many remind me of my German grandmother and the wonderful dishes she used to prepare for us. We had several large plum trees on the farm where I grew up and every summer my dad would take baskets full of them to a friend who had a fruit dryer. The dried prunes were used in winter cooking and were our favorite after school snack. One of my mother’s favorite Sunday dinner dishes was homemade noodles, topped with stewed prunes flavored with a little red wine and a heavy sprinkling of buttered, toasted bread crumbs. If I ask her about this now her eyes light up and she will tell my how delicious it was and how her grandmother always made it for special occasions. Food and our emotions associated with it are very powerful and can bring back wonderful memories of happy times – a real blessing and comfort when we get old.
This bread is delicious all on its own but a little butter or a bit of softened cream cheese is a nice addition. I wrapped the loaf well and thought it was even better the next day when flavors had a chance to mellow. It sliced a little easier then too. If I didn’t care how it looked in a photograph we would have cut right into it when it cooled a little bit and it never would have made it to the second day. This is a keeper recipe for sure. Prunes are good for us and the port mellows their flavor and keeps the bread moist along with the addition of plain yogurt. I thought the 1-3/4 cups of port sounded like a lot, but the prunes soaked it up and the amount was just right. I bought an inexpensive port and thought is worked perfectly. No need to use the expensive stuff here. I hope you will try this recipe, especially if you enjoy the flavor and texture of European sweets.
- 2 cups chopped pitted prunes (dried plums) preservative free
- 1-3/4 cups port or other sweet red wine
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat bring prunes and port to a boil. Take off the heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain prunes in a colander over a bowl and reserve the port liquid.
- Combine all the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a bowl and mix together with a whisk.
- Combine all the wet ingredients (oil through eggs) and the prune liquid in another bowl and mix well with a whisk.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until combined. Don't over mix.
- Add prunes to the dough and mix well.
- Pour dough into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (mine took about 55 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove and let cook on wire rack before serving.