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Bread, Plum Nut (D/P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from one of Diana von Welanetz's recipes (found in both her gift-giving cookbook, and the "Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook")
Yield: 1-9"x5" loaf cake

Pan Preparation:

Fruit Mixture:
1 (30-ounce) can whole plums in heavy syrup, drained (approximate can size)
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) butter or margarine (I use unsalted)
2 teaspoons baking soda

Dry Ingredient Mixture:
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour (preferably with a protein content of about 10-1/2% )
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup dark seedless raisins

Whipped cream cheese, room temperature (optional)

Pan Preparation:
Grease and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan. Set aside.

Make Fruit Mixture:
Remove pits from plums, transferring plum pulp into a 3-quart saucepan. (You will have about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups pulp.) Mash with potato masher.

Set flame at low. Add butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. Turn off flame under pot. Stir in baking soda. (Mixture will foam up and acquire an unattractive color. Be assured that this is temporary.) Set aside.

Make Dry Ingredient Mixture:
Pour flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves into small mixing bowl. Stir with wire whisk (to simulate sifting). Stir in nuts and raisins until well-coated. Set aside.

Assembly and Baking:
When fruit mixture is lukewarm, stir in reserved dry ingredients, fruits, and nuts. Spoon into prepared pan.

Place pan on center shelf of cold oven. Set oven temperature at 350°F. Bake until toothpick inserted in center top comes out clean (about 1 hour). Turn off oven.

Place pan on wire rack. Set aside for 1 hour to cool. Invert loaf onto wire rack. Let cool completely.

Serve "as is," or reheat, and serve warm, accompanied by (or spread with) whipped cream cheese.

Leftovers can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to 6 months. To serve, encase in aluminum foil and heat in 300°F oven until warm. (Time will depend upon amount being heated.)

You can double the recipe, and divide batter into 2 (9"x5") or 3 (8"x4") loaf pans. (If using the smaller pans, bake 10 minutes less.)

Poster's Notes:
It is quick and easy to make, doesn't even require an electric mixer, and all the ingredients can easily be kept on hand.

I keep my butter in the freezer, and use it frozen. Works fine.

The original recipe regarded whipped cream cheese as mandatory, but I found it wholly unnecessary. Also, the original recipe used a blender or food processor to mash the plums, but that just created another pan to wash.... A potato masher works fine for this.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A