Pineapple Date Loaf

This quick bread from   the "Farm Journal Country Cookbook"  is just excellent!  We loved the flavor and texture; moist but firm.  My husband said “not too sweet or rich”.  I used pineapple packed in juice.  The loaf cracked a little, but otherwise it didn’t disappoint.  This recipe will go in my regular baking rotation – it’s a winner any time of the year. It’s just as good with a summer salad as it would be over the holidays.  
                    Pineapple Date Loaf
     ¼      cup  butter -- softened
     ½      cup  sugar
  1          large  egg
     ¼       teaspoon  lemon extract
  8           ounces  crushed pineapple
     ¼       cup  pecans -- chopped
  2 ½       cups  sifted all-purpose flour -- 11 ounces
  2 ½       teaspoons  baking powder
     ¼       teaspoon  baking soda
  1           teaspoon  salt
     ½       cup  dates -- finely chopped
     ¼       cup  water
     ¼       cup  maraschino cherries -- chopped, well drained
(Prepare nuts and fruit.  Drain the pineapple, saving the liquid.)
Cream butter and sugar; add egg and lemon extract.  Add drained pineapple and nuts to creamed mixture.
Sift dry ingredients together.  Add dates and mix well, separating date pieces with your fingers.  Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture alternately with reserved pineapple juice mixed with 1/4 cup water.  Fold in chopped maraschino cherries.
Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3" loaf pan.  (I used large Calphalon 8 x 5" pan).
Bake in preheated oven 375° about 55 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.
One 9 x 5" loaf    About 16 slices
Per Serving: 160 Calories; 5g Fat (25.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 265mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
2011 Cost:  $ 2.99 per loaf

Some quick bread hints:
  • Only grease the pan 1" up the sides; this prevents hard shoulders. 
  • Use parchment as shown, (grease this on the bottom and 1" up the sides too), for easy removal.
  • When adding flour and liquid alternately, stir in by hand, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the liquid, 1/3 of the flour, then remaining liquid, then flour.
  • Don't overstir, to prevent tunnels.
  • Check your loaf with a toothpick 10 minutes before the specified time, pick should come out with only a few crumbs when done.  If not ready, check in 5 minute increments.  This prevents overbaking and a dry loaf.
  • Freeze slices in plastic zip bags, they thaw quickly.

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