The other day, a lovely reader asked me for ideas for recipes including apricots. I love this kind of question and was immediately transported to this Apricot, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf that I hadn't made in ages - possibly years. There are many things that I struggle to remember (I'm sure that I'm not alone in this) but ask me about a dish that I've eaten or a recipe that I've cooked and enjoyed, even decades ago, and I'm pretty much always on it. Call it my 'specialist subject'!
The original recipe for this fruit and nut loaf is from an old (possibly out of print) Bill Granger book, 'Every Day' but I've adapted it a little and included dried fruits that I think work better. It's somewhere between a cake and a bread and its structure makes it stable enough to be able to hold its own in the toaster - more on this later …
I see this Apricot, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf firstly as a breakfast food but it may also be a rather good afternoon snack - I'm looking at you, 3pm energy slump …
How to make this fruit and nut loaf
- Soak the porridge oats in the milk for 30 minutes.
- Add all the remaining loaf ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly, also adding the porridge/milk mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining chopped almonds over the top along with a heaped teaspoon of demerara sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool and enjoy sliced and toasted or sliced and spread with butter.
Why you might fall in love with this Apricot, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf
- The oats + the fruits + the nuts make this a filling and substantial slice.
- This fruit and nut loaf has a structure that makes it easy to slice and is stable enough to handle the toaster perfectly.
- It's delicious toasted and spread with butter.
- I also love it with a little cheese on the top - cheddar works well but I'm imagining that something like a Cheshire might be even better.
- The cinnamon combined with the dried fruits puts me in mind of a Hot Cross Bun.
A few things I've learned about this loaf
- Use whole almonds (roughly chopped) rather than flaked almonds, which will go soggy in the loaf - the crunch of the nuts is a big part of its charm.
- You can adjust the dried fruits depending on what you have available or what you prefer. My supermarket rarely has dried cherries, so I often use cranberries instead. Just be sure that the total weight of dried fruit is 175g (6oz).
- I only sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl, if I can see it is lumpy. Otherwise, I just pour it in for ease and speed.
- My soft brown sugar is always very lumpy (I think it's the humidity) so I crumble it between my fingers to rid of the lumps before adding it to the bowl.
- The sprinkle of demerara sugar on the top before baking is optional but it does really add to the crunch of the top and the aesthetics too.
- The loaf keeps well in an airtight container for quite a few days, especially if you plan to eat it toasted.
My recent breakfast adventures have been a committed love story to Fruity Bircher Muesli and these Overnight Oats, but this week I am thoroughly invested in a slice or two of this Apricot, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf with a coffee and the day's Wordle. Happy days …♡Print