Apricot-almond quick bread

I woke up craving a fruit-and-nut bread; the raisin-walnut from Parisi Bakery is our go-to, but I thought I'd try a new (old) recipe. Over the holidays, I picked up a copy of Marion Cunningham's '70s refresh of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and the apricot-almond bread sounded enticing. (Fannie's turn-of-the-century original, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, is available for free in full on Google Books.) It was quick to throw together, the crust is crunchy but the inside is moist, and with a bit of whole-wheat flour and very little butter, it feels (emphasis on "feels") relatively healthy.

1.5 cups coarsely chopped dried apricots
1.5 cups boiling water
2 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups white flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Chop the apricots and put them in a big mixing bowl; pour the boiling water over them. Add the butter, sugar, and salt, stirring until the butter and sugar dissolve. Let this mixture cool until it is lukewarm. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter -- which will be a little doughy -- into the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean). Remove and cool, then enjoy. (Below, see my dense, finished slice.)

apricot bread.jpg