Cranberry Nut Bread mini loaves from JenniferJuniper.net

Cranberry Nut Bread mini loaves from JenniferJuniper.net

The original, handwritten recipe card for my grandmother's cranberry nut bread  JenniferJuniper.net

The original, handwritten recipe card for my grandmother's cranberry nut bread

JenniferJuniper.net

For the food gifts I’m making this year I’m drawn to nostalgic recipes and wanted to use my mini loaf pan, so quick breads came to mind. I was reminded of this cranberry nut bread my grandmother used to make, and was able to find the original recipe card. Several things about the card stood out: my grandmother’s perfect penmanship, the many stains and other signs of use, and the terminology she used. The card is dated 11/11/66, and no one was calling the outer skin of the orange ‘zest’ then. To my grandmother, ‘nuts’ meant walnuts - anything more exotic would have been spelled out. Shortening probably meant Crisco, but I took the liberty of substituting butter.

The ingredients are listed in my grandmother’s original terms with my interpretation in parentheses. I also updated some of her methods, using the quick whisk technique to combine dry ingredients and melting butter in the microwave.

Nana Tucker’s Cranberry Nut Bread

2 Cups flour

1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder

½ Teaspoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon salt

½ Teaspoon orange peel (zest of one orange)

1 Cup sugar

2 Tablespoons shortening (melted butter)

¼ Cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange)

Hot water

1 egg, beaten

1 Cup cranberries

½ Cup chopped nuts (walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest and sugar to combine, lighten and remove lumps. In a large measuring cup melt butter in microwave, add orange juice and fill cup with hot water to the ¾ Cup mark. Add liquids to dry ingredients with beaten egg and mix just until combined. Add cranberries and nuts and stir to incorporate.

If using a mini loaf pan, line each section with a strip of parchment paper to make removal easier.

Bake in a loaf pan 40 -50 minutes or in an 8 section mini loaf pan 25 minutes.