My family and I were thrilled when this won "best of show" for quick breads at the state fair a few years ago. I sometimes substitute peach nectar for the apricot nectar with terrific results.
- 1-1/2 cups apricot nectar
- 1-1/2 cups chopped dates
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1-1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- In a large saucepan, bring the apricot nectar, dates and apricots to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; add peel and rosemary. Cool for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and milk. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with date mixture.
- Pour into three greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 3 mini loaves (5 slices each).
Originally published as Sweet 'n' Savory Date Loaves in Best of Country Breads 2000, p27
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