Wednesday, 19 September 2012

RECIPE: Prune, apricot and pecan tea bread

I know what you may be thinking, but just hold up a sec. Stay with me and read on for a bit. Prunes? Apricots? Nuts and seeds? All sounds a bit healthy, doesn't it? Well, let me tell you that this little loaf cake is surprisingly delicious - it's moist and fudgey, and everyone who tried it was like "Woah! This is reeeaaally good! I was NOT expecting it to be so moreish." I originally made it for my mama, as it's right up her street, but then was taken aback at just how much I liked it myself.

The fact that it's baked in a loaf tin adds to its healthy vibe, which I would say makes it a perfectly acceptable way to eat cake for breakfast (as IF I ever need a reason to justify that to myself). It's also - according to the madre - absolutely perfect spread with butter with her late afternoon cuppa. Another plus is that if for some reason it's not devoured instantly, it'll keep for days wrapped up in foil.


150g dried stoned prunes, chopped
75g dried ready-to-eat apricots, chopped
75ml apple juice
175g butter
140g soft dark brown sugar
finely grates zest of one orange
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g plain flour
125g malted brown flour (usually used for bread)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
50g pecans, roughly chopped
4 tbsp mixed seeds


1. Butter and line a 2 lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180C. Put the prunes and apricots in a pan and add the apple juice and 50ml water. Bring up to the boil then turn the heat right down and leave to simmer gently for 15 mins. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. It should all mush up into a bit of a purée. Leave to cool slightly.

2. Melt the butter, allow it to cool a bit, then add it to the dried fruit, along with the sugar, zest and egg.

It has a yummy fudgey undertone. Mmm
3. Sift the flours into a bowl - the bran from the malted brown flour will collect in the sieve, but then just put it back into the sieved flour. Add the baking powder, mixed spice, nutmeg, pecans and 3 tbsp of the mixed seeds.

4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the dried fruit and egg mixture, stirring until well combined but not overworked. Scrape into the tin and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp mixed seeds.

5. Bake in the oven for about one hour until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for ten minutes in the tin then remove from the tin, take the loaf out of the paper and leave to cool on a wire rack. Nom it up, guilt-free.

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