This harvest loaf is one of our favorites, we take a slice to school in the fall for our morning snack. It also makes a great fall gift for family and friends.
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts plus 1/4 cup chopped walnuts for the top of the loaves
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 mini loaf pans that hold about 2 cups of batter per loaf or one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a small sauce pan, place coarsely chopped apricots and 1 cup water, bring to a simmer and remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
Stir together in a bowl, wheat flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl whisk together egg, vegetable oil, vanilla, orange zest, orange juice and the apricot mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture, fold until all dry ingredients are moistened. Add the coarsely chopped walnuts, stirring just a few times to distribute walnuts into the batter.
Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans 3/4 full. Evenly distribute the chopped walnuts on top of each mini loaf. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a 9 x 5 loaf pan bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack. Serves 8 to 10