A retro treat for today’s tea parties (or….breakfast)!
When I was a kid, my mom seemed to make this loaf primarily at Christmastime so I associate it with all sorts of happy, festive feelings. I recall she often used a combination of red and green maraschino cherries, so her loaves were extra-vibrant for the holiday season! This updated version is a semi-faithful recreation of my mom’s recipe, which is why I used regular maraschino cherries. I would, however, highly recommend using some of the great artisanal cocktail cherries that are available today as a slightly healthier alternative. The loaf has a nice dense texture that makes it very satisfying and while the slices are delicious ‘as is’, they’re even more fabulous when toasted and topped with a little butter.
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) cherry juice from jar of maraschinos
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) milk
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) maraschino cherries (stems/pits removed if needed)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8 x 4 inch (20 cm x 10 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg and beat well.
- Combine cherry juice and milk and set aside.
- Blend together flour, baking powder and salt; add one-third of this mixture to the butter mixture and stir to blend.
- Add half the milk mixture to the butter and flour, stir until well-blended.
- Add another one-third of the flour mixture to the bowl and stir to blend.
- Add the rest of the milk and blend in, then add remaining flour and stir until just incorporated.
- Add the cherries and walnuts and stir gently until mixed in.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto a wire rack. Loaf should be no more than lukewarm before slicing otherwise it may fall apart.
- Well-wrapped, the loaf can be kept at room temperature for three days or sliced and frozen for up to 3 months.
Makes 1 loaf.