This must have been a banner year for plums. My daughter’s music teacher showed up with a bag. And there was a peck left in the break room with a “Please take some” sign. I love stone fruit, but I have to admit I don’t cook with plums very often. So I put the largesse to work in an infinitely malleable Mark Bittman recipe for Fruit and Nut Bread. And I have to admit the results were so good that I’d actually buy plums to make it again – so I thought I’d share.
Col’s Plum and Almond Bread(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour ¾ cup sugar 1 ½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 4 Tbs. unsalted butter (plus more for the loaf pan) 1 ¼ cup skim milk 1 egg 1 tsp. vanilla ¼ tsp. almond extract 1 cup chopped plums ½ cup slivered almonds
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it’s completely worked into the flour. Place the flour mixture in a large mixing bowl. (Don’t continue in the food processor, or the bread will be tough.)
2) Whisk together the milk, egg and extracts. Fold into the dry ingredients, but don’t over mix. Next fold in the plums and any juice that have accumulated. And then fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. It’s done when skewer poked into the center comes out clean.
3) Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Try to keep the kids from slicing until it’s completely cool, but don’t count on it.
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