Pain d’épices

Makes 1 loaf.


1½ c milk (350 ml)
1 c honey, preferably one with some character (300 grams)
zest of 1 clementine, tangerine or other small orange
1 c all-purpose flour (125 grams)
1 c whole-wheat, rye or buckwheat flour (125 grams)
½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp whole anise seeds
¼ tsp ground coriander seed (optional)
1/3 c chopped dried apricot (30 grams)

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (23-centimeter) loaf pan.
2. Pour the milk and honey into a small saucepan and stir over gentle heat until the honey has dissolved. Add the zest and set aside.
3. Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. Mix in the honey, milk and zest. The batter will be quite liquid and a little foamy. Fold in about a third of the apricots.
4. Fill the loaf pan about half full and sprinkle half of the remaining apricots over the batter. Repeat with the rest of the batter and apricots. Bake until the top of the cake is deeply golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
5. Cool completely before slicing and serving. Well wrapped, the cake will keep for up to a week.