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Sugar Plum Bread

I grew up with my Grandma Mitchell’s irresistible plum bread. We slathered it with butter and ate it with cottage cheese and fresh fruit for a simple breakfast. And it always makes an appearance at the holidays! —Emily Tyra, Lake Ann, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (12 slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dried plums (prunes), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine dried plums, water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat; let stand until plumped, about 10 minutes. Drain plums, reserving fruit and liquid. Measure liquid, adding enough water to yield 1/2 cup.
  • Cream shortening and remaining sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with cooking liquid; fold in cooled dried plums (batter will be thick).
  • Transfer batter to a greased 8x4-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If dried plums (prunes) aren't to your liking, try substituting dried apricots.
  • Add a little lemon zest to softened butter and slather on top.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 slice: 202 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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