I had a busy week at work this week. It started with 2 days out of the office helping to run the Managers Meeting and then finished with a few days of catching up with email requests. So I was really looking forward to doing nothing this weekend. Baking helps me relax. I find it peaceful in the kitchen – looking out over the village while I bake. So this morning I decided to use up the apples from last week and I had a tray of blueberries given to me that I wanted to incorporate into anything I made this week. An apple and blueberry loaf sounded perfect.
This recipe is from the Primrose Bakery book. It’s a lovely recipe but it didn’t go as well as I would have liked.
- 125g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
- 225g self raising flour – sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs – lightly beaten
- 2 apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 125g fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5
- Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking/greaseproof paper
- Sift the flour, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs
- Add the sugar and eggs and mix until smooth
- Spoon half the batter into the loaf tin and then scatter with half the apple slices and blueberries
- Add the remaining batter and arrange the remaining fruit over the top
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour (until risen and firm to touch)
- Just before you take the cake out of the oven, heat up the jam (in the microwave or in a pan) to soften it
- As soon as the loaf is out of the oven, brush the warm jam over the top with a pastry brush
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack
- This cake is delicious eaten warm or cold
My problem was with the baking time. I know my oven pretty well now and I don’t usually have any problems with over baking. But for some reason this loaf cake was still wet after an hour in the oven, yet the top was burning. I covered the cake with greaseproof paper after the hour it said to cook it for and then cooked it at 10 minute intervals for another 20-25 minutes. Once out of the oven the middle of the cake was cooked beautifully yet the crusts were over cooked.
If I tried this loaf again I would turn the temperature down by about 10ºC and keep a closer eye on it. I also scrimped on the apple inside the cake. The recipe says to use 2 apples and I would recommend that you use all of the slices. Pile them up in the middle of the cake leaving just enough for the top layer. The middle layer brings a lovely juicy element to the cake – mine definitely could have done with a few more slices!