The paper on which the recipe is written is stained and dog-eared and crumpled, for Jane made it every summer, more than once, I suspect. She gave loaves away to family and friends, of course, and we scarfed it down greedily.
Jane’s zucchini bread is rich and moist and really needs no other accompaniment but melting butter and a cold glass of milk. But I like to add a mascarpone spread to dress it up a bit.
The bread is spicy, too, like Jane herself, the spirited one in a family of demure Catholic girls. Though she was born on Bastille Day, Jane took after the Irish, not the French, side of her family. She managed to avoid parochial school, instead attending the public high school, where she had an awfully good time. She later dropped out of nursing school, eloping with a handsome theatre usher. The two bumped along together for decades, rearing two sons, until divorcing after 30 years of marriage. Finally, Jane scandalized her family by becoming a bartender in her 60s.
She had a talent for making people laugh, and for baking rather whimsical treats, like some delicious candy-like goodies called “Goofballs.”
When I think of zucchini bread, I think of Jane, fondly. When paired with my Mascarpone-Honey Spread, her zucchini bread rises to new heights.
Zucchini Bread with Mascarpone-Honey Spread
- 3 eggs
- One-cup oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- ½ cup raisins soaked in cognac
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- Pinch powdered cloves
- 1 Tbs. cinnamon
Blend eggs, oil, sugar and shredded zucchini in a large bowl. Drain the raisins, reserving the cognac, and add those to the bowl. Sift the dry ingredients into another large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl, stirring until well mixed. Transfer to two greased loaf pans. Bake at 40-45 minutes in 350-degree oven.
One 8-ounce carton Mascarpone cheese
One Tablespoon orange-flavored honey
Pinch orange zest
Pinch of sugar, if needed
Blend ingredients and spread on bread. Top with chopped walnuts and raisins, if you like.