Saturday, 22 June 2013

Slow Ferment

Still Baking This Bun

3 weeks left in the oven 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pear and Walnut Scones

When I was contacted by Fruitdrop a couple of weeks ago to see if I would like to try one of their fruit boxes I just couldn't wait to get creating (and devouring all the fruit of course...very good for the bump).  I knew I wanted to make some sort of scone, something that would come together easily...but that would be something a little bit different.  I didn't know what fruit I was going to receive so I had to wait and see.  

When I saw that there were pears in the fruit box I knew they were destined for the scone recipe.  These scones are sweet but could easily be savoury.  Pear and Walnut are a classic combination and add a subtle sweetness. I used my basic scone recipe (why mess with a good thing) and added chopped pear and's as easy as that.  

Pear and Walnut Scones


350g all purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
113g cold butter, diced
1 egg
160ml buttermilk, milk, or single cream
90g pear, diced (not too ripe)
35g walnuts, roughly chopped

splash of milk and handful of Demerara Sugar for topping (optional)


PRE HEAT Oven to 220C

In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.

Gently rub through butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Toss through pear chunks and walnuts.

In a small bowl or measuring jug beat together egg and milk.  Add this to flour mixture and working quickly combine until the dough comes together.

Turn out onto lightly floured board and pat dough into a disc about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Cut out rounds (I use a 1.5inch cutter) and place on a lined baking sheet about an inch apart.

*Optional* Brush some milk (or an egg wash) over the top of each scone and generously sprinkle with Demerara Sugar.

Bake in preheated over 12-15 mins until golden on top and bottom.

Cool and enjoy.

These scones aren't overly sweet and taste great with a smear of butter and a slab of really mature cheddar.

Jazzing Up The Humble Banana Loaf

I was contacted a few weeks ago by a fruit box company to see if I'd be interested in trying a fruit box and developing a recipe (or two) for their blog.  I jumped at the chance...fruit delivered to my door...why not!? 

When we lived in Essex, David and I were part of a veg box scheme.  I loved receiving our fortnightly box and thinking up meals around whatever mystery vegetables arrived.  

This is slightly different.  Fruitdrop caters to businesses (their fruit boxes start at 50 pieces of fruit) and aren't really promoting locally sourced fruit.  They aim to inspire companies to provide healthy snacks for employees, thereby making those employees more happy, healthy, motivated and productive.  

I think it is a fabulous idea and if I worked for a private company I would totally be suggesting trialling these boxes.  You all know I am a sucker for a piece (ok hunk) of cake, but if a platter of fruit was sitting waiting in the staff room I would be equally as happy tucking into an orange.  

Our box was filled to the brim with satsumas, grapes, strawberries, plums, nectarines, apples, pears and bananas.  The soft fruit was eaten expected and a glut of bananas was left.  I had already thought about experimenting with a banana loaf recipe since most people have left over bananas and while banana loaf is the go to solution for them, it is sometimes nice to try something a little different.  

This upside down-ish banana loaf has a super sweet and sticky top (bottom?) and is very very easy to eat.  

Jazzy Banana Loaf 


For the base: 
1 perfectly ripe banana 
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar 
1 Tbsp butter

For the cake: 
350g plain flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
2 largish overripe bananas
155g white sugar
160ml flavourless oil (vegetable or sunflower) 
2 eggs 


Pre-Heat oven to 160 C 
Grease a 2lb loaf tin 

Slice perfectly ripe banana into long slices, about 1/4 cm and arrange over the base of the loaf tin.  Sprinkle the dark brown sugar over the banana slices and dot with bits of butter.  Set aside. 

In a large bowl mash overripe bananas with a fork, add sugar and oil and mix until well combined. 

Add eggs one at a time and mix. 

In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt.  Add to banana mixture and stir until just combined.  

Pour over bananas in loaf tin. 

Bake 50-60 mins until golden and tester comes out clean.  

If you can force yourself to wait until the loaf is completely cooled it will slice better...if not enjoy it a little bit sloppy!