With Thanksgiving behind all of us now and the holidays getting closer, the baking season has officially begun! Nova Scotians are well known to be generous and creative bakers so I was so excited with the opportunity to review the 40th Anniversary Edition of Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale published by Nimbus Publishing. This book is tried and true.
How do I know this? My mother-in-law Lorraine refers to it every time I ask her about Nova Scotian recipes. Now I have my very own copy! Where to begin? I decided to put its Carrot Bread Recipe through my test kitchen and see how different it was to bake a long time ago!
In a large saucepan mix together 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup of seedless raisins (I did a combination of raisins and dried cranberries), 4 tsp of butter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cloves (I only did half), 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 1/2 cups of water.
Yup, now you are going to cook it! See, very different. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Then cool.
You can add the dry ingredients directly to the sauce pan but I put everything in a bowl ahead of time: 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt. Combine thoroughly.
Bake in a greased loaf pan for 1 hour in an oven preheated to 350F. This is the recipe I used to test out PC’s baker’s gift loaf pan.
I left it in the loaf pan to cool and it came out a bit of a weird shape but look at the colour!
This carrot bread was so moist, butter really was not necessary but I did not know that at the time! Moist, dense, with an old-world flavour, this bread is hard to describe but quite wonderful. I am glad I held back on the cloves, even with just half a teaspoon you could taste it in every bite. My friends enjoyed it too and I even shared it with my neighbours who seem enjoy rustic flavours very much.
It amazes me that this recipe has very little fat in it and no eggs and yet it is so moist! All of the spices are so good for you. It must be the stovetop method that brings everything together and creates such a special loaf with so little fat. This first recipe test from the book was a success. The flavourings are a little strong for me and yet I kept going back for another bite! I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons.