It’s once again raining buckets in Boston, and the Lad was having a friend over this afternoon. I wanted to have something on hand that they boys could snack on, and that the other mom and I could enjoy with a cup of tea. Banana bread would have fit the bill, but, yes, we had no bananas …
But we did have some frozen raspberries, and this little recipe. This bread is much like the banana, blueberry, date nut, and zucchini loaves we’ve surely all enjoyed (and even taken for granted), but surprises with the unexpected, subtly sweet taste of raspberries. When I first found the recipe, I assumed it would be like a blueberry loaf – just a big muffin, studded with fruit. That sounded good.
In reality, it’s much better than that – a uniform loaf that uses pureed, strained (that’s important … nothing worse than raspberry seeds stuck in your teeth!) frozen raspberries for moisture, color and flavor.
The result a lovely blush of berry-ness in a loaf that otherwise feels familiar and comforting. It’s delicious with a bit of sweet cream butter, or toasted with a schmear of cream cheese. I’m thinking that making it into a sandwich filled with cream cheese and raspberry preserves would be especially nice.
While I don’t feel a particular need to futz with this recipe’s elegant simplicity, I do think it could handle further interpretation. Perhaps next time I will stud it with fresh raspberries and blackberries, or perhaps just use sugar while preparing the pan to give the loaf a sweet, crispy crunch. For now, though, I’m going to be snacking on this and waiting for the rain to stop.
Raspberry Tea Bread
(inspired by the Loaves and Fishes bakery & cookbook)
10-ounce package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
2 large eggs
10 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease and flour (or sugar) a loaf pan.
Puree the raspberries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade (or in a blender) Strain through a fine sieve and discard the seeds. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, oil and sugar and mix on medium speed until light and thick – about three minutes. Add the raspberry puree and blend well. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well combined – about a minute more. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about an hour – until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for half an hour, then completely on a wire rack. This bread tastes best when made a day ahead of time, and will last up to 2 weeks if refrigerated.