Winter is waning at last. The Sun is getting brighter day by day. Around this time of the year, the citrus harvest from the hills reaches here. There is a variety of citruses in the fruit mart. Most popular is the Malta from the hills. Generally sweet and sour and sometimes very sweet, always juicy and bursting with great flavour. Malta is more popular than the oranges.  This is the time when I make all the recipes that ask for oranges. Last week I made Orange Cranberry Bread with walnuts.
I used orange juice but I did not use orange zest. The sprays and pesticides used in oranges makes it intimidating to use the zest. I used Malta zest instead.
However, you can use Orange zest after washing it throughly in hot water. Then soak the oranges in water containing a tablespoon of salt and 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon baking soda.

1and ¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
50 Gms (half stick) butter
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup mixed candied peels
1 egg
1 tablespoon Malta zest
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Place walnuts in the baking tray. Set the oven temperature to 100 degrees and timer to 10 minutes. Toast till walnuts become fragrant and brown. Chop into small pieces. Sieve whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add zest. Cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Blend well using hands or a spoon. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add sugar. Beat the egg till fluffy. Add orange juice and vanilla essence. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Add chopped nuts, candied peels and cranberries. Bake in the pre heated oven at 180 degrees C in a greased and lined 9” x 5” loaf tin for 50 minutes or till the top turns brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Remove from the loaf tin after 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lining and place on the rack to cool. Slice and enjoy next day.

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  1. What is Malta zest

    1. Hello! Malta is a citrus that grows in the hills. Malta zest is the outer peel (without the white pith) of the fruit grated finely. I did not use Orange zest because of the pesticide and other sprays used in the fruit. Malta is grown in the villages without sprays. I have edited my post to make it clear. Thank you getting it to my notice. You may use orange zest also by washing the orange throughly and soaking it in water containingg salt and some vinegar for 5 minutes at least.

  2. Can flax seeds b used as n egg substitute

    1. Sure, you can use flax seeds. I have observed that the recipes where there is just one egg and the egg works as binder, flax works very well. In fact if I make this again, i will use flax for sure.

  3. Thnxs u so much for your prompt reply