Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Hello Everyone! Welcome back to our second instalment of A "Taste of Transcona" as we continue to work our way through the 1964 Cook Book published in the Transcona News. I chose a recipe for Cherry Loaf. I love cherries and this recipe caught my eye. I really enjoy the cherry bread that the Transcona Legion has served at some of their events so when I saw this recipe I thought it might be close to what they serve. I had to try it out.
I will preface this to say that I am not a very good baker. I can cook, but there is something about baking. I try, but very few things I bake turn out the way they are supposed to. I remember one time in university my roommate and I made the same cookies. Mine turned out to be hard little lumps, hers looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook. All that being said, I still wanted to try this recipe.
I gathered all the ingredients. I only had to go out and buy a jar of maraschino cherries, everything else I had on hand. The recipe called for a small jar of cherries but didn't have a measurement. When I went shopping there was only one size available. I don't know if the size of jars has changed since the recipe was published in 1964, but it very well could have. The recipe also didn't list milk as one of the ingredients but mentioned it in the instructions.
I followed the instructions, drained the cherries and save the juice. When I added the milk to the cherry juice I barely had to add any to make it a full cup (this is what make me think the jar size is different today compared to 1960's jar sizes. If you know, let me know as we don't have any maraschino cherry jars in our collection!).
As I had the butter and sugar cream together in the mixer, I had a little helper in the kitchen help me sift together the dry ingredients. Most of them ended up in the bowl too!
After adding the egg, we alternated adding the sifted and wet ingredients into the mixing bowl. This is where everything started to smell so good; like Christmas! It also became a very pretty pink colour. Just after adding the last of the ingredients together, I turned off my mixer and did the last bit of mixing by hand to hopefully not over mix.
The instructions then said to spoon into a well-greased pan. As I was about to start that I realized I had not added the cherries or the walnuts. The instructions said nothing about when to add the cherries (or even if I needed to add them) as well as the walnuts. I made an executive decision and added them to the bowl and mix them through gently. Then I spooned the batter into a well-greased loaf pan and placed it in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.
At one hour I checked the loaf and it was done. I cooled it for about 10 minutes or so in the pan and transferred it to the cooling rack. I was happy that it rose as much as it did, so it means I didn't over mix for once.
Now it was time for the taste test. I was actually expecting the loaf to be sweeter considering all the juice from the cherries and sugar that was in the recipe. That being said I really like it. There is a very subtle maraschino cherry flavour in the loaf unless you bite into a cherry. I didn't get a picture of the loaf cut open (oops- next time). Many of the cherries and walnuts ended up at the bottom of the loaf, so next time I would cut up the cherries before I add them. I think the walnuts were probably supposed to be added to the top of the loaf, but I liked having them throughout. Perhaps a more experienced baker would know. All in all I would make this again.
On the next instalment of "A Taste of Transcona," we will have a special recipe for #MuseumWeek... coming soon.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 small jar of maraschino cherries, drained, save juice, add milk to juice to make 1 cup of liquid.
Cream butter and sugar thoroughly, add egg and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with 1 cup of liquid, spoon into greased loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until done. Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove and cool on rack.
Mrs. Anna DuTour