Saturday, February 11, 2012

Prune Bread (Retro Recipe)

Here’s one of the two great recipes for prune bread that appear in my esteemed 1949 Good Housekeeping Cook Book. I share it with you because prunes are opulently opossumable, and this bread is delicious!

It uses the proven combination of orange and prunes. As an example of how well the two flavors go together, I see that at least one company sells prunes (“dried plums”) that come pre-infused with orange essence.

A few notes on the recipe below:

1. This time, I didn’t chop up the prunes very much. But I think the idea is to chop them much more finely, so the fruit is incorporated more evenly throughout the bread (sort of like zucchini bread, or banana bread). But I wanted the chunks to be more visible, so I only cut them coarsely with a knife. (The down side to big chunks? It makes your knife sticky when you slice it!)

2. I suggest using less baking powder/soda/salt. It really doesn’t need that much. I think you can halve all three ingredients and come out fine. But here, I’m presenting the recipe just as it appears in the book.

3. In the same book (same page, even) is another gem: Oatmeal Prune Bread! And if you Google “prune bread” you can find lots more fun chocolaty, banana-y, citrusy, appley, nutty variations!

Hooray for prunes!

Prune Bread

1 cup dried, uncooked prunes
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp. baking soda
1 1/2 teasp. salt
2 tablesp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup shortening
2 tablesp. grated orange rind
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bottled milk or 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 350˚ F. Rinse prunes, drain, dry. If very dry, boil 5 min. in water to cover; drain. Put pitted prunes through food chopper, using medium blade. Sift flour with next 4 ingredients. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until like coarse corn meal. Stir in prunes and rind. Combine eggs and milk; add to dry ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 10˝ × 3˝ loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven of 350 F. 1 hr., or until done. Makes 1 loaf.


From The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, with a preface by Katharine Fisher (New York: Rinehart, 1949), p. 446.


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Gosh I wish I had some prunes for breakfast. When I was young, I would have prune races with my uncle Clint. It was always fun, because I could tease him, I had won. You see he was blind and didn't like feeling around for the seeds.
Try this recipe, it's really good:

Julianna Schroeder said...

Wow, that's a great-looking cake! How does PioneerWoman take so many pictures while she cooks? I have to admit, I got kinda tired of doing that a while ago--so I guess I'm going to have to be a failure as a "food blogger."

But Patti, I'm rather afraid to ask what a "prune race" is!