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Monday, December 14, 2009

Bessie's Christmas Fruit and Nut Bread

Saturday should have been the day I baked...but was too busy trying to keep Farmhouse from flooding. The water was right up to the door here at the house. The garden looked like a lake. I spent most of the day sweeping the water away from the door. But by Sunday morning it was just showering...and I felt like making Bessie's Christmas Bread.
My mom used to make this every Christmas. She used the candied fruit...cherries and pineapple..the red and green kind. And it does make a beautiful bread when sliced. Looks just like stained glass.But John and I prefer it with dried fruit. So I just substitute dried fruit for the candied. I used apricots,cranberries,and apple. I just cut it up and added it in. I also added about a teaspoon of grated orange zest just because we like it and it makes it taste like....Christmas.

This is the original recipe. It is a VERY dense and heavy bread. There is only 1 cup of flour for 2 loaves so this bread is mostly fruit and nuts. Very good toasted in the morning with coffee or tea.

Bessie's Christmas Fruit Bread

1/2 lb pitted dates
1 lb brazil nuts, whole
4 oz. red candied cherries
4 oz. green candied cherries
4 oz. red candied pineapple
4 oz. green candied pineapple

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Half the dates and cut all fruit,either candied or dried into pieces. Combine with the whole nuts.

Add dry ingredients to the fruit and nuts.Combine to coat mixture. Stir in beaten eggs and vanilla. Stir well.Batter is very dense.

Line loaf pans with parchment paper that is buttered.
Pour batter into pans.

Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Reduce to 300 degrees and bake another 20 minutes. Cover with foil if the bread is getting to brown. Check bread with a tester till it comes out clean. Let loaves rest on a rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans and tear away paper. Let cool.


  1. Mmmmm. Reminds me of my grandmother's fruitcake! She uses most of those same ingredients. She was having a slice the other night when I called her "with a little spoon of Cool Whip!" I like the orange zest idea. I don't think Gran uses any.

  2. Wow, glad to hear the flood has subsided! That looks like exactly the kind of thing I want to eat on Christmas morning.

  3. Sounds delicious! So glad you didn't have any flood damage!

  4. This bread sounds great especially the way you make it with the dried fruit. Would you believe I have some of those very same recipes cards from my mother-in-law?

  5. I didn't get the email. Did you send it to scatteringlupinesblog@gmail.com ?

    You can also try courtney.riggin@gmail.com (gasp! my REAL identity!)

  6. Perfect recipe, Kary !!!!!

    Thank God you're okay after the flooding. Weather is really so crazy in our beloved blue planet ... Here, where I live is so hot and we're still on Spring...

    Kisses, dear friend :)

  7. I will definitely do it really really soon!I will get back at you,cause those are not only good but they are also full of vitamins and all good for you!Thank you for sharing!And have a nice week you and Buddy!:)

  8. It looks beautiful, as well as delicious!

  9. mmm looks very tasty! yes please, i think i would love a toasted piece for breakfast with my coffee!
    maybe i'll try this when i get home to my parents for christmas...mom and i plan on doing some baking together!
    thanks for sharing

  10. Wow..that is beautiful! I love the picture with the wire rack!

  11. Okay everybody , this is a great recipie, This is gold! I have been hearing about this for years and now we have the key to Holiday Happiness.

    donkey in the kitchen

  12. Kary, that is some serious looking bread. Chocked full of goodness!

  13. this looks so yummy!
    and your banner is bliss!

  14. Yum-O!
    What I love most is that old piece of paper with the recipe written on it...now THAT's an heirloom!

  15. wow! i love it! it reminds me a little a traditional venetian cake that i love! i need to give it a try!
    thank you for sharing and wish you a very sweet day!

  16. oooo sounds yum! Sorry to hear about the flooding - sounds worrying...hope your house is safe?! Has it ever been bad?

  17. I'm about to have coffee and I've run out of cake. Any chance there's some left? It looks delicious!

  18. It sounds like a form of "Stollen" which is the German fruit cake. It is made in a bread pan, which makes for easy cutting, and powdered sugar is dusted on the top. Gives it even more of a wintery, Christmas feel!
    Isn't the rain something? I have been trying to do all sorts of things around the yard, to prevent flooding!
    greetings Beth

  19. Thanks for stopping by our blog. Always fun to see new people there. Love where you live. Have been there many times, and my sis that lives in MO still goes there with her hubs on their anniversaries! Lovely!! Love French Laundry. I can still recall almost every course we had there 5 years ago. Hope you drop by again sometime soon. I have not been online a lot lately. The holidays have me running about! You would love my sis-in-laws blog. Go check it out. http://www.sugarpiefarmhouse.com/be-merry-and-bright/comment-page-2#comment-10975 Holly

  20. Looks scrumptious! And hey..love that holly plate underneath all that. :)

    Hope you're having a good week.

  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comments. Your blog is delicious! I also shall be back for another slice very soon.

  22. What a delicious dessert and after all the cookies I have baked, it would be a nice reprieve try something different for the holidays....sorry about your flooding..

  23. Hello Ms. Kitchen. That is indeed a beautiful bread. Two of our 6 children have attended culinary school: one in NY CIA and one at Sullivan in Louisville Ky. The one that went to CIA did it for fun but works as an IT for IBM, the other is a wonderful homemaker and beautiful hostess at her home. I am enjoying MR. T, that's what I call him. I loved the tea and the Creative Tuesday. Thanks for the visit.

  24. This looks fantastic! I love that you substitute the dried fruit for the candied fruit. That's just what I like, too. I will definitely be trying this recipe.

    Glad to hear that the flooding has subsided! Happy Holidays! xo Gigi

  25. Nice to see your blog. Its really very nice. I like it very much. I also visited gifting site. It has unique gifts for all occasions.

  26. Fruit and Nut Bread sounds so much better than FruitCake, like grammy use to make. Looks wonderful. I'm also love that lasagna recipe toooo.

  27. mmmmmmm..... I feel happy and chubby just looking at your photos!
    sending 10 inches of our snow and happy Christmas Wishes to your sweet little dream kitchen!

  28. Looks delicious! I am going to have to try your recipe. I used to work with a woman from Belgium and she insisted I try her fruit cake recipe, as she knows what a bad reputation they have here in the USA. It looks very similar to your recipe and was DELICIOUS! I also LOVE Brambly Hedge, and it looks so cute on the Winerterball plate! Just right with a spot of tea!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Smiles, Nancy


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate all your kind comments more than you can know.