Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blood-Orange Ginger Tea Bread

Blood-Orange Tea Bread
Ready or not, it was time to start using the blood-oranges on our tree. These are the fruits that were on the tree when we bought it back in December. According to various sources, the fruit should have been ripe anywhere from late-February to May. It's now June and whether they were ready or not... I was.

I had dreamed of making something that would highlight the gorgeous ruby flesh of these first fruits; something simple, elegant, and fruit-forward. But alas, they were still a tad too tart. Chalk it up to a Northern-esque climate and an especially cold and wet Spring. I do keep harping on that, don't I? Well, you can take the girl out of So. Cal. but you can't take the So. Cal. out of the girl.

Let's just say I'm feeling a real affinity with this orange tree right now.

Some people may cringe at using these precious fruits in a lowly tea bread, but since they were still quite tart, this recipe seemed pretty ideal (it worked great with bitter grapefruit). The spectacular jewel-like blood-orange tarts and things may have to wait until next year. We'll see... there are still a few small ones left on the tree...

Blood-Orange & Ginger Tea Bread
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times Issue: January 1, 2009
Makes 1 loaf (16 slices)

3-5 blood-oranges (3 if they're large, 5 if they're small)
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
3/4 cup walnuts
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup Sucanat
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp blood-orange zest 
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2/3 cups powdered sugar (for the glaze)
4 tsp reserved blood-orange juice (for the glaze)

1. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Zest the oranges, then supreme them and chop the flesh, reserving the juice. Chop the candied ginger.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet, and toast 6 to 7 minutes, or until walnuts are fragrant, stirring half-way through. Cool slightly, then roughly chop.

3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir the ginger and chopped walnuts into the dry ingredients. Set aside.4. Beat the eggs in separate bowl. Whisk the sour cream, milk and zest into the beaten eggs. Gently melt the coconut oil just until it becomes liquid. Whisk it into the egg mixture. Stir in the chopped blood-orange pieces.

4. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened and no lumps remain. Transfer to the buttered loaf pan.

5. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until browned around edges, and the toothpick-test is clean. Cool for 1 hour on wire rack; remove from pan, and let the loaf cool completely.

6. Once it is cool, make a glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and blood-orange juice in small bowl until it is a thick, but just barely pour-able, consistency. Put parchment paper or a sheet pan beneath the wire rack to catch drips. Slowly dribble the glaze over the top of the loaf. Allow the glaze to fully set before slicing into it (if you have that much restraint).

Notes: You'll probably have some blood-orange zest and juice left over. If you have an immediate use for the zest, great. If not, toss it onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment, or not) and let it sit in the oven with just the light on. After a few hours, check it. Once it's powdery dry, rub it between your fingers to separate any clumps and store it in a jar to use later. As for the extra juice, use it in any way that you would ordinary orange juice: marinade, muffins, screwdriver, etc. It will tint everything lovely shades of pink (like the glaze above)... so pretty.
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  1. Ohhh wow, this sounds great!!! I am definitely adding this to my "Must Make" list :)

  2. @Pretty.Good.Food: It's one of those recipes that I think would be good with almost any citrus (I'm thinking of trying it with Meyer lemons next). Let me know how you like it!


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