Prunes always remind me of summers at my grandparent’s dairy farm. At the crack of dawn Grandpa would wake to the rooster’s chorus, go down to the cellar and stoke the sawdust furnace to take the chill off the house, then stop in the kitchen and throw a handful of prunes on the stove to simmer and finally head out to the barn to milk the cows. We had the lofty job of washing utters and hooking teats up to the milking machine. When the milking was done we’d traipse into the kitchen with a pitcher of literally half and half fresh milk and cream for breakfast. Grandma’s kitchen always smelled divine but especially in the morning with mouth watering fruit breads, bacon, eggs, and stewed prunes for grandpa.
This recipe is from a Canadian friend living in Tonga, another South Pacific colony of the British crown. It’s egg-less, dairy-free and fat-free but oh so yummy with the flavors of molasses, ginger and those sweet prunes. It toasts beautifully and is perfect with just butter. However, this fruit loaf is even more tasty imbibed with Brandy or Bacardi Dark Rum and aged like a fruitcake. Give it as a house warming present or hostess’s gift at the next coffee klatch. It is soooo easy to make, just mix the ingredients in a bowl, pour the batter into a loaf tin and bake. Give this a try and if you’re not crazy about prunes then figs, raisins or other dried fruit will work fine. Don’t forget the nuts!
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 3 Tbsp molasses (or Treacle)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C.). Grease and dust with flour a standard sized loaf pan.
- Mix prunes, brown sugar and molasses with boiling water.
- Stir in baking soda. The mixture will start foaming.
- Mix flour and ginger together and gently stir into the foaming prune mixture.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes and remove from pan.