This pumpkin bread is dotted with prunes that were steeped in Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce tea—and before you run away thinking The nerve! This chick wants me to go out and buy Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce tea for a stinkin’ pumpkin bread recipe give me a chance to explain my case.
This pumpkin bread is worth every penny you spend on the tea (and if you buy it loose-leaf by the pound, it actually isn’t expensive.) It’s warm but bright and citrusy. There’s cinnamon, allspice, orange zest, and pumpkin. It’s orange and purple, which is totally cool. It’s different from any other pumpkin bread. And better, in my opinion.
I made it this weekend, but it’s been brewing in my brain for a while. I wanted to bake a pumpkin bread but didn’t want the same ol’ thing… and it was early morning on a gloomy Saturday and I sure as hell wasn’t going to get dressed and go shopping. Prunes were in the pantry. But prunes? Kinda boring, no? So after brainstorming on what I could do with them—didn’t have Armagnac, no brandy—I gave up and decided to have a cup of tea. And voilà… a pumpkin bread with prunes steeped in orange tea was born.
Now, you don’t really need to buy Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce tea for this recipe but I can’t take responsibility if it doesn’t taste as mind-blowingly delicious with Lipton. The Orange Dulce has notes of vanilla, and jasmine—so if you can, buy a tea with that profile. The tea, which the prunes are steeped in, flavors the whole bread much more than I thought it might. The bread is almost deceiving in all it’s flavors—one thinks ones getting a plain ol’ pumpkin bread but is surprised at the floral quality, the bright orange. I gave a piece to Jim—not telling him what was in it—and he spent a long time guessing at “that wonderful background flavor” before I told him about the tea and orange zest.
So. Since we’re a few weeks into the season and you may have baked your fill of pumpkin breads by now—but you still can’t stop the pumpkin season feeling—try this bread. It’s easy to make but it tastes far from easy. The recipe also yields two loaves. Put one in the freezer for when you get stuck with relatives during the holidays. Or you can just nosh on the two loafs for the next two weeks—this bread has a long shelf life since it is super-moist from the pumpkin puree. Jim (my ex-meth-addict author of a boyfriend) got off 5 years probation on Friday and I plan to serve this bread as a warm comforting Sunday breakfast to the guests who’ve stayed over at our big Jim-Got-Off-Probation-And-We’re-Spit-Roasting-a-Lamb! Party. Should be a blast—Jim and I were planning to go on a heist or commit some crime like that—but his parent’s convinced us to stay home and roast a lamb. It’s not illegal, but I guess we’ve gone 5 years abstaining from crime—why not another weekend? (Totally kidding about all of that, Mom.)
Hope you are enjoying your weekend and not getting put on probation!
Pumpkin and Prune Tea Bread
makes 2 loaves
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 scant tsp ground clove
- 1 generous tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground if you can)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 16 ounces (1 can) pumpkin puree
- 12 prunes steeped in Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce tea (or any other orange-black tea)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
Sift flour, baking soda, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Combine sugar and oil and beat with a handmixer or in a stand mixer for about 2 minutes, until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating all the while, 3 to 5 minutes in total. Add pumpkin, and orange zest and beat one minute more.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions. Once mixed, divide batter between the two loaf pans.
Drain prunes. Without drying, add the prunes to the top of the breads. Make sure to bruise them up a little (without pulling them to pieces) so the juice runs out and into the batter.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, checking that a toothpick comes out clean when done.