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Easy Cranberry-Orange Quickbread

I’m in the midst of holiday baking already – mixing and baking eight loaves tonight to sell at a bake sale tomorrow morning to raise funds for the food bank. One of my favourite – and easiest – recipes of the season is this sweet-tart cranberry-orange loaf. It’s a great way to make use of the bags of cranberries I bought at Thanksgiving and never used – and a perfect use of citrus at its peak. Grate the zest as finely as you can – a rasp makes a perfect tool – to release the most flavour possible. These loaves are pretty enough to wrap and give as gifts, too.

This recipe is easily doubled if you want to bake two loaves at a time.

Cranberry-Orange Loaf

Adapted from Everyone Can Cook for Celebrations by Eric Akis.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
grated zest of an orange
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or golden raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a 9″x5″ loaf pan. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter and zest and blend until the mixture is evenly crumbly, as if you were making pastry. (This could be done in the food processor.)

Add the egg and juice and stir until almost combined; add the cranberries and raisins and stir just until the batter comes together. Spread into the pan and bake for about an hour, until the top is springy to the touch.

Photo credit: photo courtesy of Everyone Can Cook for Celebrations (Whitecap Books)

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