Ramona’s Sunshine Fruit and Honey Bread

(A recipe from How to Bake a Perfect Life. )

These are actual texts from my sister a few days ago:

Feb 5, 2011 7:13 pm
Making sunshine fruit and honey bread 🙂

Feb 6, 2011 12:36 pm
OMG OMG OMG. That bread is soooooo good I could prolly eat the whole thing!!!

Feb. 7, 2011 12:26 pm
I can’t stop eating this bread ! I feel like the guy in the window in Chocolat. LOL


I can’t promise you will like it as much as she does, but it’s one of my favorites, too.  It would be an excellent offering at a book club.

Sunshine Fruit and Honey Bread

Sometimes a recipe is born from a moment, and this is the recipe that I came up with after my first night with Jonah. Filled with light and juice and tenderness, it is one of my favorite things. Try it with a cup of sweet chai.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup dark honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp orange extract
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 eggs
1 cup raspberries, whole
1/3 cup slivered, toasted almonds

Juice of one orange, mixed with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x5 inch loaf pan

Whisk together dry ingredients. Cream butter, honey, and extracts and zest. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in the dry ingredients just until moist, then gently, gently fold in the raspberries and toasted almonds.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 20 minutes, then tip bread out to a wire rack and cool thoroughly, then drizzle the top lightly with glaze.

The wonders of British food

The Brits get a bad name over food, but I’m here to say there is a lot that’s lovely about British cooking. Saveur Magazine has a feature
today on their website about British Pub Food.  I receive their emails and clicked right through to find this lovely menu:

Welsh Rabbit, which I thought for years was Rarebit, no idea why, and is only cheese and toast.  How simple and lovely is that?

Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, served bloody rare, which I loathe.  Not a fan of roast beef, though I love the gravy, and that gravy is a wonder with Yorkshire puddings.

Beef and Guinness pie . I once made this recipe, or one quite similar and forgot that I had it in the oven (before the crust was on it). It cooked at 300 for a couple of hours and the flavors were as deep and rich as some precious old wine.  Highly recommended.

Banoffee Pie, which I have talked about here before.  It’s an English classic, made with digestive biscuits, bananas, caramel and whipped cream.  CR’s mother served it at a holiday meal and I licked the spoon and practically my plate, so she sent me home with tins of caramel, which are not sold here.  It is unbelievably sweet, but the cream and the bananas and the digestives give it texture and depth, so it’s not as horrifying as you might imagine. (Go on, try it, you know you want to!)

What’s funny is that my traditionalist younger son, also a very picky eater, fell madly in love with Banoffee pie the first time I made it for a Christmas meal and he begs for it at every opportunity since.  Though CR’s mother sends those tins of caramel, I don’t always have a can when I need it.  This recipe has a work around that makes the caramel with condensed milk and brown sugar. (And I recently discovered you can buy cans of dulce de leche in the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store, so I am saved, anyway.)

But my favorite thing about British food: cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese.  Check out these 9 artisan cheeses. But don’t forget Stilton or Wensleydale with cranberries or mangos or some other something.  They’re all great.

What foreign foods do you love? Have you even fallen in love with something in a far away land?