I’m back! My internet access came back yesterday, but I was a tad busy. The day started at 6am, when I got up early to go for a long run with a friend, and ended after midnight, when I climbed into bed after coming home from a fancy dress party. In between, there was showering, eating, doing the usual household washing and cleaning, shopping (some excellent clothing bargains), taking the kitten for her latest lot of shots, more shopping (groceries) and a long nap. No time for posting (sorry, I put napping in the “essential” category!)
So, finally, here it is, my accidentally good fruit bread.
Why accidentally good? Well, I had planned to make biscuits but when I threw a pile of stuff into a bowl, the resulting mix was more cake-like than cookie-like. So I put it into a loaf pan and hoped for the best. Must have been a very lucky day in the kitchen, because I really enjoyed the result. I love the texture of this. It’s hearty and chewy and packed generously with fruit, nuts and seeds. It is more crumbly than, say, a banana bread. I hesitate to use the word crumbly, because it isn’t, really. But it is quite different to that springy, oily (in a good way) banana bread texture, and if anyone decides to make it, I don’t want you expecting that sort of quick bread. Love this for it’s own jam-packed-with-goodness appeal.
Accidentally good fruit and nut loaf
225g dairy-free margerine (I used a mix of two kinds of Nuttlex, just because I didn’t have enough of either one)
1/2 cup raw castor sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1 tab golden syrup
2 cups SR flour
1/4 cup low-fat milk*
1 cup quick oats*
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried fruit (I used a mix of sultanas, dried cranberries* and dried pineapple)
Preheat oven to 170C. Line loaf tin with baking paper.
Cream margarine and sugar, then beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Beat in banana and golden syrup. Don’t worry if it looks slightly curdled at this point, it will be fine.
Beat in half the flour, then the milk, then the remaining flour. Use a wooden spoon to stir in oats, pepitas, walnuts and dried fruit. Spoon the mix into the tin and level the top.
Cook for 40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
* NOTES: Although I love the texture of this, next time I think I might use oil instead of the low-fat milk, and perhaps cut the oats to half a cup. Also, the dried cranberries I am using at the moment are soft and plump. If you use the drier craisins in this, I’d suggest soaking them in boiling water for a few minutes, then blotting dry on a piece of paper towel. It’s a great way to plump up the fruit for cakes and muffins.
I learned a lesson taking pics of this one. Be careful! If you rush, and you pick up the loaf with one hand to adjust the napkin underneath, it might just crack right across the middle… (the picture above is pre-accident).
And here, finally, is a happy snap I took when I sat down at the computer to start posting, back before I realised there were connection issues. This one was going to be going straight from oven to internet! If only the internet had co-operated…