Today’s the last day of summer, so I thought I’d celebrate the last stone fruits of the season and take advantage of the no longer sweltering weather before our fall harvest, apples and pumpkin, begins to dominate grocery store aisles.
This loaf combines the fleshy, tangy sweetness of tangerines, and the aromatic, warming spices commonly used in masala chai, for a perfect summer-to-fall. You could try it with any other stone fruit – I imagine peaches and plums could be just as delightful – and if you’re feeling in the mood to celebrate fall, so would apples or pears.
Chai Nectarine Loaf with Candied Ginger
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp cold black tea
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup diced nectarines (skin on)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour (for fruit)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (or use non-stick).
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together into a bowl.
Mix together the milk, tea and vanilla.
Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well.
Add a third of the flour, then half of the milk, combining with the hand mixer on low for each step; repeat until all the milk and flour are mixed in. Do not overwork, or the loaf will be too hard.
Combine nectarines with 1 tbsp flour; this will help them to stay afloat in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom.
Fold the fruit gently into the batter.
Spoon into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes; until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the loaf cool completely before removing it from the pan.
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 – 2 1/2 tbsp milk
3 – 4 slices candied ginger, diced
Stir together icing sugar and 2 tbsp milk until well combined; add just enough milk to bring it to a spreadable consistency (the icing will spread more than you expect when applied).
Spread onto a fully cooled loaf, sprinkle overtop with chopped candied ginger, and let it set for at least 1/2 hour before serving.