Monday, August 07, 2006

Raspberry Lime Bread

This is a very beautiful loaf. It has a golden top, an almost white interior and, of course, bright raspberries scattered throughout, making the contrast between white and red all the more obvious.
The idea to do a lime-raspberry flavor combination had been floating around in my head for some time, but I kept forgetting to buy raspberries. Or when I would get them, they would often spoil before I had a chance to use them. In all probability, the weather this summer has not been very produce-friendly, which probably contributed to the exceptionally short shelf-life of my berries. In the end, I ended up using frozen raspberries despite the fact that I could have used fresh. Frozen will hold their shape as the bread bakes and will not get smashed when mixed into the batter. You can use either kind, but I think that frozen might actually be a bit better when it comes to appearances.
The quickbread itself is sweet and tender, though it is not too light - marking it as more of a bread than a cake. This means that it stands up to toasting very well, if you prefer to eat yours with a bit of butter rather than having it plain. The lime zest gives it a bright flavor without coming across as too acidic or citrusy and serves to highlight the sweet berries.
I should also mention that this bread smells fantastic when it's baking. You might want to have a snack on hand so you'll be able to resist slicing into the loaf before it's cool.

Raspberry Lime Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lime zest
3/4 cup milk (any kind)
1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, vanilla, vegetable oil and lime zest until smooth. Stir in 1/2 of flour mixture and all of the milk. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture until just combined. Quickly stir in the raspberries and pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour at 350F, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
Turn loaf out onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Store wrapped in plastic wrap and it will keep for several days.
Makes 1 loaf.