A quick, traditional sweet bread. I first saw this recipe in Good Housekeeping a few years ago and it has become a favorite in our home for both Christmas and just about anytime else!
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup dried fruit, chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 2 eggs
I use a mix of dried berries while the original recipe called for dried cherries. Loaves of this make a wonderful gift as well.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in ricotta cheese, dried fruit, toasted pecans, vanilla, lemon peel and eggs until combined.
Turn dough onto floured surface. Gently knead the dough two or three times to blend. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into an oval approximately 10″ and 8″. Fold oval lengthwise bringing top half over so that the bottom of dough extends by about 1 inch.
Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
This freezes very well, just wrap tightly in foil and put in freezer bag. Delicious!