This was an unusual recipe....not a cake, but not really bread, either. I'm so glad I tried it because as Ms. Cunningham suggests: "this splendid but easy recipe will soon become a Christmas tradition in your home." Marion plumps the raisins in amaretto and then it's all added to the batter, which results in a nice moist crumb. This would make a perfect brunch offering for the holidays as the flavors are lovely for Christmas.
I made both muffins and one round panettone-type loaf. It freezes nicely, although eating this warm right out of the oven was hands down delicious. No butter needed. This is the kind of bread that will appeal to the adults in your family. Kids? Maybe not so much. I found it rather strong of amaretto.....this is not a bad thing. You know me, boozy ice cream and now boozy bread. :) Bring on the holidays!
From The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
grated rind with a little white pith of 1 orange
grated rind with a little white pith of 1 lemon (orange and lemon together should make about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup almond liqueur (or brandy, rum or bourbon) I used more as it should be enough to cover the fruit
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325. Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch loaf pans or muffin tins. (I made muffins and one round loaf)
Put the raisins, currants, rinds, and liqueur in a small bowl. Add the sugar and stir. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes.
Put the eggs and oil in bowl and whisk until creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and stir vigorously until well blended. Add the raisin mixture, liquid and all. Mix well.
Spoon batter into the loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes for the loaves and 45 for muffins or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Let rest 10 minutes in the pans, turn out on a rack to cool. Allow to cool before slicing. If making muffins, you may serve them hot.