This is rather traditional, but it is always worth having a good recipe. I hadn't made it in a very long time, but then didn't want to go empty handed to the neighbour who was going to talk me through beekeeping (as I have potential plans that way), so I made one recently. I set aside a little of the batter in muffin cups for us, and it was so tasty that I decided to make another one last week. We had it for breakfast and all really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd share.
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c oats
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 c butter
2/3 c sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 c banana, mashed (the riper the better)
1/2 - 1 c apple sauce
1/2 c nuts, chopped
1/4 - 1/3 c dried apricots, chopped (or other dried fruit)
(optional 1/4 c chocolate chips - I used dark)
1) Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and zest. Add banana and apple sauce.
2) Stir together dry ingredients. Add them gradually to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
3) Fold in nuts, apricots and chocolate if using. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 180°C for 50 min-1 hour or until knife comes out clean.
Serve warm, with or without butter. It was also very tasty with a soft boiled egg. I'm not sure why I haven't made it in so long. It is really easy to make (although the second time took me rather longer as Little Bit wanted to be involved in every step and wanted to do it all himself. This was a very... efficient solution). Apple sauce makes the whole loaf that much moister. The more the better as far as I am concerned. The chocolate works well, but I like it just as well without it too. Different dried fruit additions will alter the flavour a little. Prunes for example deepen the tone of the loaf a bit, in a delightful way. If I don't add chocolate or swap out dried fruit, I sometimes add a dash of cinnamon or cloves too, which works very nicely. How do you like yours?
Book Pairing: The second time I made this in the last few weeks (pictured above), as I say I was wrangling a Little Bit who wanted to be helpful, so no book. The first time around though, he was napping when I made the loaf, and I was listening to My Man Jeeves by PG Wodehouse. I know all the short stories in that volume that are about Jeeves and Wooster, but there were also a few that I didn't know about Reggie Pepper. I was listening to one of these, about capers on a yacht off the Riviera involving an inheritance, an unknown twin, mistaken identity, a near murder, amnesia and broken engagements (yes, plural), but ending with all being well, a rich butler who is able to retire from butling and marry his girl, and the identity issues being resolved. In all delightfully silly and light-hearted. I Still prefer Jeeves and Wooster as characters, although that is perhaps merely long acquaintance, but did enjoy getting a glimpse of Pepper too.
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