This is an Italian version of a date and nut bread. It is delicious snacking bread, especially when served with the citrus-scented mascarpone cheese spread. This recipe can be adapted to use whatever you have in the pantry, and keeps well. It is a nice touch to set out for impromptu visits from family and friends.
Prep Time 45minutes
Cook Time 50minutes
Total Time 1hour35minutes
Author Homemade Italian Cooking with Cara
1cupdried figsstem removed and chopped
⅓cuporange-flavored liqueurSolerno, Grand Marnier cognac, Triple Sec
2TBfreshly grated orange peel
1 3/4cupsall-purpose flour
1TBfreshly grated orange zest
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9x5-inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper.. Set aside.
Place figs in small glass bowl with cognac. Add more liqueur or orange juice to be sure they are covered. Let sit for 30 minutes to reconstitute.
Beat sugar and butter at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add sour cream, orange juice, and eggs; continue beating until well mixed.
Reduce speed to low. Add orange peel, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Gently stir in figs with their liquid and walnuts by hand.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.
To make mascarpone cheese spread, mix the cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest in a small bow. Chill.
Serve a slice of bread with the mascarpone spread on the side.