I have a confession to make.
Lean in a little closer and let me whisper it to you.
I have a fresh fruit problem. It’s an addiction really. When I pass by a stand filled with rainbows of fresh fruit, I can’t pass it by. My mouth starts watering, my mind starts whirring and my fingers start twitching.
Images of fruit salads, fresh baked goods, juicy deliciousness dripping down our chins on hot summer days. I can’t stop.
The other day I opened up the fruit drawer in my refrigerator and I was greeted with a bounty of blueberries and oranges and strawberries.
I pulled them out of the drawer and tossed together a quick and delicious summer fruit salad to go with our grilled chicken – it was a perfect summer meal.
Even after our fruit salad, and topping morning granola with blueberries and sending orange slices to volleyball camp with Princess, my weakness for beautiful fruit was still evident in the overflowing fruit drawer.
I stood in my kitchen gazing at the beautiful blues and oranges and my mind danced around what I could make as an unexpected treat for my family.
The kids have fallen head over heels for my citrus sugar treats, and my blueberry cheesecake muffins, but I wanted to make something a bit different. I was headed on a 4 day trip out of town and I wanted to leave them something special, something that would warm their tummies and their hearts.
I decided to make them a loaf of blueberry orange bread, it’s a recipe that I’ve been toying with and dreaming about.
A moist, dense loaf of orange infused bread studded with fresh, juicy blueberries.
As soon as it came out of the oven, Monkey was hovering around with wide eyes wanting to know when he could try it.
He patiently watched as it cooled, as I made the glaze that I debated whether or not to pour over it.
As I looked down into his sparkling, eager brown eyes – my heart melted and I gave in and sliced him a piece.
He cupped it in his little hands, inhaled deeply, bit down, and looked up at me with huge eyes and mumbled around the mouthful of bread “Mom – you are the bestest cook ever, this is awesome”
A quick hug around my legs and then he was off running through the house and out the front door with his prize in hand.
- 1 Cup Sugar
- Zest of 2 Oranges 1 each - divided
- 2 C sifted All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1/2 C orange juice
- 1/3 C water
- 1 Tbsp almond extract * see notes
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 C blueberries
- 1/4 Powdered Sugar to toss with the blueberries.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F
Zest 1 orange and combine with 1 C sugar how to make citrus zest sugar set aside
Sift 2 C flour. Using a spoon measure 2 C of the sifted flour and place in a medium bowl.
Add citrus sugar, baking powder, and baking soda to the sifted flour bowl; whisk and set aside.
In a small bowl combine: egg, orange juice, water, almond extract and butter.
Use your hand to make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the wet ingredients into this well and gently combine.
Toss the 1 C of blueberries with powdered sugar until coated, gently fold the blueberries in to the batter.
Spray a loaf pan with baking spray.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake. Depending on the size of the loaf pan - this can take from 35 minutes to 1 hour.
This can be served alone or with a citrus powdered sugar glaze. For an added boost, top with grated orange zest.
Powdered Sugar Citrus Glaze
1 C powdered sugar
2 tsp orange juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk until combined and drizzle over cooled bread, if desired.
* reader Anna suggests quartering or halving the almond extract as she found it too strong. Start small, you can always work your way up 🙂