Thursday, May 06, 2010

Oh My Darling

Oh my darling, oh my darling; Oh my darling, Clementine!

I love those juicy, little citrus fruits. They are a flawless balance of sweet and tart in such a perfect size for snacking. A full orange or grapefruit sometimes seems too much, but the little darling of a clementine is just right. I snatch some up every time I see them in the grocery store.

However, Hubs isn't a fruit guy. Apples with caramel dip or occasionally some grapes when the mood hits him are pretty much his limit. He doesn't care to indulge in citrus snacks. Often this means that unless I find someone with which to share the bag or mini crate of clementines, some go to waste before I can eat them all. It is a disgrace, and I am honestly ashamed at how much food I probably do allow to spoil because when shopping, my eyes are bigger than the amount of meals we are realistically able to prepare and eat.

I was, therefore, delighted to find a way to use more of those dear clementines with a Clementine Quick Bread recipe discovered while sorting through some Martha Stewart Living magazines. (Yes. I am sorting through A LOT of magazines lately. It is part of my belated spring cleaning process, and my attempt to not be a hoarder.) The original recipe included vanilla bean seeds which I didn't happen to have on hand, but would ultimately only improve the flavor of the bread. As is, zest and clementine segments provide a delicate citrus sweetness to a pretty basic quick bread recipe. Brushing the baked loaf with a glaze created with clementine juice enhances it perfectly. Even Hubs sliced into this quick bread for a second portion. It is darling to have Clementine Quick Bread On My Plate

Clementine Quick Bread

10 clementines
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. 
Zest 4 clementines to yield 1 tablespoon zest.
Juice 8 clementines to yield 3/4 cup juice. 
Cut pith from 2 remaining clementines. Slice fruit along membranes to release segments into a bowl; discard membranes and any seeds. 
Combine 1/4 cup clementine juice, the cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. 
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. 
Beat zest, butter and 1 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, about 4 minutes.
With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time.
Reduce speed to low, and beat flour mixture into butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour. 
Fold clementine segments into mixture, and pour into pan. 
Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. 
Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/2 cup clementine juice and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. 
Remove bread from oven, poke top all over with a skewer, and brush with half the clementine syrup. 
Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool for 15 minutes. 
Invert pan to remove bread. Let cool completely on wire rack, top side up. 
Brush remaining clementine syrup onto sides and again on top of bread.
(Bread can be stored, wrapped, at room temperature overnight or refrigerated for up to 5 days.) (Yields 1 loaf)

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