Saturday, March 27, 2010

Recipe: Date - Walnut Loaf



(Photo: Date-Walnut Loaf sliced)


This Date & Walnut Loaf recipe is a holiday tradition in the Grant-Dyer families. The recipe came from my dad's Aunt Ruth. Like our other holiday favorite, the Date Pinwheel Cookies, this recipe is also irresistible, although I don't have any recollection about anyone having tummy aches from eating non-stop with this recipe like my older son did with the Date Pinwheel Cookies when he was small. :-)

However, unlike the Date Pinwheel Cookies, this recipe is easy to make, can be made ahead, and then frozen until serving time, even if one loaf gets lost in the freezer and not found again until July (or used in February like at my recent potluck dinner). Usually we talk about remembering summer in winter with the taste of our stewed rhubarb, a berry jam, or delicious frozen summer vegetables, but finding a loaf of Date & Walnut Loaf in the freezer in July is an instant flash-back to the lovely winter holidays in the middle of summer!

Ingredients:

4 unbeaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
1# pitted whole dates (do not use date pieces)
3-4 cups whole walnut haves (again, do not use pieces)

Directions:

1) Add 1/4 cup flour in large mixing bowl to coat dates and nuts.

2) Combine eggs, sugar and oil - beat well.

3) Add 1 cup flour and salt to egg mixture - beat well.

4) Add egg mixture to dates and nuts. Fold with rubber spatula to mix batter evenly with dates and nuts (there is not much batter compared to the dates and nuts)

5) Place in greased and floured bread pans (I use small pieces of parchment paper, too)

6) Note - this MUST be started in a cold oven and baked at 300 degrees.

7) How long depends on the size of the pan:
1 - 5x9 pan - 2 hours
2 - 2-1/4 x 7-3/4 - 90 minutes
4 - 2-1/4 x 4-1/2 - ~75 minutes (this is what I do)

8) I do test with a toothpick and make sure that the tops of the loaves are a beautiful golden brown.

9) Let loaves cool about 10 minutes in the pan(s), then remove to finish cooling on cooling racks. I wrap each loaf individually in foil when fully cooled, label, put in freezer bags to keep until needed during the holiday season (or July, whatever the case may be!).

This is so delicious that just half a slice (or two) of the smallest loaf size is needed to satisfy the sweet tooth.


(Photo: Date-Walnut loaf, close-up)

Enjoy!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

2 comments:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, dear, this looks way too good, Diana. You are just a recipe-posting maven these days!

Diana Dyer said...

I had a huge backlog of recipes in my brain that I had to get caught up with before we actually start making the move out to our farm, along with the growing season starting up! I'm afraid I won't get much more posted in that vein for a while. :-)
Diana