Pecans are very plentiful in the South, and this is one of my favorite ways to use them. No other date nut bread I've tried is anywhere near as moist and flavorful as this one. I especially like to bake it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 small unpeeled orange, cut into pieces and seeded
- 1 cup pitted chopped dates
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- For bread, place eggs, butter, sugar, orange pieces and dates in blender or food processor. Cover and process with on/off motions until finely chopped. Remove to a large bowl.
- In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt; add to orange mixture and mix until well-combined. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.
- Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If bread begins to darken, cover with foil during last few minutes of baking.
- Meanwhile, for sauce, heat orange juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. When bread comes out of the oven, poke holes with a toothpick and slowly pour the sauce over top. Let stand for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Orange Date Nut Bread in Country December/January 1991, p51
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