This weekend, I took a trip to the Indianapolis zoo where all of the animals were getting into the fall spirit. After watching black bears bob for apples and pachyderms playing with pumpkins, I decided to make one of my seasonal favorites – a sweet and citrusy quickbread that doesn’t hold back on the orange flavor.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest from 2 medium oranges – finely or coarsely grated
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice – from 2 medium oranges
- 2 tablespoons oil of choice – or melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup no-sugar added dried cranberries – or 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1-1/4 cups boiling water
Place the cranberries in a large coffee mug or small, heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cranberries; let sit for 5-10 minutes to rehydrate, stirring occasionally. When the cranberries are plump, carefully drain the excess water from the mug and pat the cranberries with a paper towel.
Once the cranberries have been rehydrated, preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. Spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Zest and juice the oranges. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, and rehydrated cranberries in in a large bowl. Stir or whisk until the orange zest is evenly distributed and the cranberries are coated in flour. Combine the orange juice, oil (or butter), egg, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir into the dry mixture with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan; bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool; and serve with a nice cup of tea, coffee, or milk.