Christmas Bread….this one sounds perfect for this time of year but I had some serious doubts that my tasters would enjoy this one… a dense log full of nuts, dried fruit, and spices, but no butter, wheat flour, sugar, or eggs and left to ripen for days to months after it is baked. Hmmm…
I decided to halve the recipe and make only one log. Our recipe tells us the only real required dried fruit is pear and the rest are interchangeable with what you may have on hand or prefer. I went to my local produce store and looked in the bulk bins to see what options I had. No pears to be found. I was about to go with what I could find but happened upon a pre-cut and packaged variety of dried fruit right about the size I needed. It ended up being perfect. It had the required dried pears, and also apricot, peach, and apples. I omitted the raisins and added cranberries.
The dried fruit is left to macerate in a warmed up mixture of apple juice, anise, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom and black pepper. Once the fruit is drained fully, the almond flour is added to bind it together and allow you to shape it into a tight roll. It is then baked, cooled, and set on the counter wrapped in parchment and foil to ripen for as long as you prefer. I let it sit for 2 days and then sent out the text that it was ready.
Mixed reviews, but honestly I am surprised that some did really enjoy it. It is rather bland with there being no sugar in it, so most suggested it would taste great with something with it…jam, jelly, whipped cream. I think we are all glad I made it and they had the opportunity to taste it, but as some said…it wasn’t going to break into the top 10 haha! I don’t see myself baking this one again, but thankful for the chance to give it a try.