Prep 24 hrs
Cook 45 mins
I clipped this recipe from an old issue of Parade Magazine, and they adapted it from a recipe originally found in The Tea Pot Cookbook by Steffi Berne. Posted by request. Plan ahead - the cherries need to soak at least three hours or overnight. NOTE: If you prefer, you can use cherry or orange juice instead of using the liqueur.
- 1 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cherry flavored liqueur (such as Kirsch or Grand Marnier) or 1 1⁄2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (such as Kirsch or Grand Marnier)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- plain breadcrumbs, for dusting pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, zest of, finely grated
- 2 large eggs
- Place cherries (or cranberries) in a container with a very tight fitting lid.
- Pour liqueur and hot water over the cherries, seal the lid tightly, and shake to coat cherries well with the liquid.
- Set aside 3 hours or overnight so cherries will absorb the liquid.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (or 325 F for a pan with a black surface).
- Grease a loaf pan and lightly dust with plain dry breadcrumbs, shaking out excess.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and the salt.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the sugars, and the finely grated lemon zest and beat until well combined and pale yellow.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add the flour mixture, beating on low speed, just until the flour is combined.
- Stir in the cherries and any liquid still in the soaking container.
- Pour batter into the pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes- or until a toothpick insterted in the center tests clean, checking as early as 40 minutes into the baking time- if it is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil and continue baking until the toothpick tests done.
- Expect the top of the loaf to crack.
- Let cool in the pan 15 minutes, then remove from pan and set onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Wrap in plastic and let set overnight before slicing.
- For extra decadence, drizzle a little more liqueur over the crack before wrapping in plastic- don't pour too much or you'll soak the bread.
It was incredibly difficult to put this sweet-smelling loaf away for a whole evening.... but well worth the wait! The consistency of this loaf is smooth and creamy, with every other mouthful blessed with a bite of cherry. I used dried Bing cherries and Grand Marnier, and yes, I poured just a wee bit down the crack when it finished. Took 45 minutes in my oven. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! :)
This is a wonderful recipe! I have made it for years and was glad to find it here to forward to a friend. I soak my cherries in sweet vermouth, because that's what I happen to keep around the house. It doesn't come out tasting of alcohol. The crumb coating on the pan is very important; I use crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs and find the texture is more interesting. Huge hit with the family.
This was very simple to mix up, although staying out of the cherries as they were soaking was not so simple! But the finished product was moist and tasty and not extra sweet. I even thought I might want a touch of sweetness added, perhaps in a drizzle of glaze, but a friend tasted it and said it was perfect, and the coffee hour bunch at church ate it all up. My friend also said "you have to make this again!" so it's a winner.