Cherry Maple Pecan Quick Bread
One of our tasters paused, mid-bite, and said, “That’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.” Here’s why: Maple Bacon Butter melted over savory and lightly sweetened quick bread with extra kick from tart cherries and crunchy pecans. Wonderful served for brunch. Leftovers make an excellent addition to stuffing.
Active prep time: 30 min
Non-active time: 80 min
Special tools: 9”x5” loaf pan, wire rack
Advanced prep: can be made one day ahead
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 c cornmeal (not polenta)
1 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 c brown sugar
2 lg eggs, room temp
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 t maple extract
3/4 c dried tart cherries
3/4 c chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
Maple Bacon Butter
1 slice thick-cut bacon
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 T maple syrup
1/4 t maple extract
1/4 t salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, whisk butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add buttermilk, maple syrup and maple extract; mix well. The mixture may separate, which is normal.
Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture; add cherries and pecans. Using a rubber spatula, fold until dry ingredients are completely moistened and mixture is similar to cornbread batter.
Spoon into loaf pan. Garnish with chopped pecans and bake 10 min at 350 degrees. Lower to 325 degrees; bake 30 min more. Rotate pan and bake another 25 min (total bake time: approx. 65 min) until toothpick comes out clean. If browning but not yet done, tent loosely with foil until cooked through.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 min. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.
Maple Bacon Butter
Cook bacon until crispy and reserve drippings. Chop bacon as fine as possible. In a bowl, combine bacon, drippings (approx. 1 T) and other ingredients and mix well.