Plum and Pear Cake


I had a last handful of my Nannie’s homegrown plums left and some more my friend’s pears so thought I’d try one last bake!

This is a really nice, moist sponge type of cake – perfect with a cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon! It’s delicious whilst still warm, but actually gets better the next day so is something you can easily make in advance. It’s a large cake and can comfortably serve 10-12 slices. I used half spoon sugar and a light spread to reduce the calories a bit so each slice was around 300 cals.

(If you want to make it egg free then egg replacer works well with this recipe πŸ™‚ )

You will need:

300g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

225g Sugar (I used half spoon)

225g margarine or butter (I used a light non dairy spread)

4 large eggs

4-5 plums

1-2 small pears

Juice of half a lemon

cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top

 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together bowl.

In another bowl cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy and light in color.

Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl to ensure it’s mixed well.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Spoon batter into a greased or lined 25cm spring form pan.

Cut the plums in halves and the pears in quarters (unless large then cut smaller). Arrange the plums and pears, skin side up as much as possible , all over the batter. Push them down in to the batter until partially covered.

Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon and finally a sprinkling of sugar.

Pop in the centre of the ovens for approximately 45-50 minutes or until cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for ten mins then remove and cool on a rack.

Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving and then enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Xxx

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Pear and Plum Jammy Slice


This is a really sticky, yummy afternoon treat and a perfect way to use up any late plums and seasonal pears.

I recently lost my beloved Nannie. She loved baking and was a legend in the kitchen! We harvested the last plums from her plum tree last week and I made a final batch of jam. I had a few plums left over, and some pears from a lovely friend, so decided to put all three together and create something Nannie would have approved of! This slice isn’t elegant, and it isn’t pretty, but it’s damn tasty!

I used half spoon sugar and a light spread to save some calories but you can use normal sugar and any spread / butter you like. It serves around 12 and is only around 204 cals per slice!

You will need:

160g Plain flour

64g Ground almonds

50g sugar (I used half spoon)

170g Dairy free spread

1 large egg

2 tbsp water

1.5 tsp Baking powder

Approx 200g Plum jam

1 – 2 pears (I used a conference pears)

2-3 plums

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease and line a small baking tin (mine was approx 7 x 10 inches).

Add the flour, almonds, sugar and baking powder to a large bowl.

Mix well and add the spread. You can either use a processor or a fork to mix it in until it resembles bread crumbs. I used a fork so it’s quite lumpy breadcrumbs but that doesn’t matter!

Add the egg and water and mix well. It will form a sticky dough.

Spread it in the baking tin.

Spread the jam over the top – be generous with the jam!

Slice the pears and plums and lay them on the jam.

Pop in the oven and cook for at least 25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool a bit before you slice.

Enjoy! πŸ™‚ Xx

Plum Jam


I was lucky enough to be given a load of Victoria plums from a friend – so what better thing to do with them than whip up some jam! I wanted to go for a slightly lower sugar jam so I used mostly halfspoon sugar but you could use normal sugar (just bear in mind you’ll need more sugar – a 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit if so). You can use any weight of fruit you have, just adjust the quantity of sugar accordingly.

You will need:

900g Plums

500g Halfspoon sugar or 900g of jam sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

(Tiny knob of butter/spread – optional)

To start with pop a saucer in the freezer (to test the jam later!). De-stone and chop the plums in to quarters or small pieces (keep an eye out for the little maggots that sometimes get in them!).

Pop the plums in to a large saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.Using a very gentle heat start to warm them up, folding the sugar in until it melts.

Bring it up to the boil gently (the key is taking your time so keep the heat low). Stir occasionally. Once it’s boiling you can turn it up a little and let it simmer for 5-10 mins.

A froth may form – if it does you can either skim it off with a spoon, or you can add a tiny bit of spread/butter to disperse the froth, or just leave it (I left it – I’m not too fussed about it!).

Test the jam after 10 mins or so. Put a small amount on the saucer from the freezer leave it for a min or so. If you can create a trail through the jam that doesn’t refill, or if the jam crinkles up when you push it, then it’s ready. If it’s still runny allow it to simmer for another couple of minutes and test again. If the fruit is very ripe you may find it takes much longer – it’s all about the ratio of water to sugar so keep boiling off the water (or you can add a little extra sugar too).

Pop some clean jars in the oven at about 100 C for ten mins or so. Remove the jam from the heat and pour into the jars.

Apply wax seals and cellophane if you have it (Lakeland and other places do fab little sets, but if not you can just put the lid on). Allow to cool, label and store in the fridge.

It should be ready to eat after 24hrs. If it turns out not to have set then it’s no drama, you just have a lovely plum compote to pour over yoghurt, pancakes or ice cream instead! Plum jam does have a tendency to over set – if you find it’s a tad rubbery don’t panic – empty the jars back in to a pan, heat gently and add a little water to loosen it. Perform the saucer test again and then pop back into the jars (having cleaned and sterilised then again).

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Xx

Ps also delicious spread on a slice of plum and cinnamon loaf (recipe here)!

Plum and Cinnamon Loaf


I got given a massive haul of Victoria Plums from a kind friend, some of which I used to make some jam, and with the rest I thought I’d do a little baking!

As we head in to late summer and thoughts turn to autumn I thought I’d go for some autumnal flavours – plum and cinnamon! This makes one loaf which serves 8-10, at around 205 cals a slice!

You will need:

140g self-raising flour (any type you like)

140g dairy-free spread (I used a light version to save some calories)

140 sugar (or 70g half spoon sugar for less cals)

2 large eggs and one egg yolk, beaten

200g plums

1 heaped tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Put the spread and sugar and beat lightly until fluffy. Add in the beaten egg a little at a time and beat well in between each bit.

Mix the flour and cinnamon and then add in to the wet mixture, fold it in.

Chop all bout approx 2-3 plums in to small pieces. Slice the 2-3 plums in to wedges (to decorate the top). Add the chopped plums and mix well.

Pour in to a loaf tin. Arrange the plum wedges on the top and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar.

Put in the oven and bake for 50-60 mins. It’s done when a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 mins, then remove. Slice and serve!

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Xx

Blackberry bakewell slice


Having made some blackberry jam I thought it was only right to find a use for it! I love Bakewell tarts – that combo of almond frangipane and jam is just delish! So I thought I’d make a blackberry version!

You can obviously use shop bought jam for this but if you fancy making it yourself then you can follow my recipe here (blackberry jam). If you have the time, and inclination, you can make your own short crust pastry (recipe below) or you can just buy the ready made stuff from the supermarket! This made one tray and three small tarts – approx 20 slices, at 299 cals each!

You will need:

For the pastry
300g plain flour
125g cold butter or dairy free ‘butter’/ spread
30g sugar (or 15g half spoon to save cals)
1 egg
2 tbsp non dairy or dairy milk (optional)

Or one pack of ready made short crust pastry.

For the filling:
approx 200g blackberry jam

A handful of blackberries

A handful of flaked almonds
250g dairy free spread
100g caster sugar (or 50g half spoon sugar)
5 eggs
250g ground almonds
2 tbsp self-raising flour

If you are making the pastry put the flour, butter and sugar into a processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until it comes together into a rough dough. If it is too dry add a little milk. Add one of the eggs and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20-25 mins.

Unwrap the dough (or open up your packet of ready made pastry!) and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll it out until it is large enough for your tray (l used one thought 20 x 15 cm, and then three small round tart cases).

Grease the tin or line with baking parchment and then lay the pastry tins and trim off the excess. Pop in the fridge to chill for 10 – 20 mins and preheat the oven to 200 C.

Remove from fridge, prick with a fork across the tin and line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (or dried pulses or rice if you don’t have any). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden-brown.

Remove the paper and beans and brush the pastry with a little spread, beaten egg or milk and then return to the oven for 5 mins or so until golden brown. all over with the remaining beaten egg. Remove the pastry from the oven and turn the oven down to 180 C. Once done remove and leave out to one side.

Now start on the filling. Beat the spread and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat gentle each time (don’t worry if it appears to split a bit). Add the flour and ground almonds and beat together.

Spread the jam over the pastry, be as generous as you like – I love the jammy bit so I like a thick layer!

Gently spoon or pipe the filling over the top and smooth it down. Press in the whole blackberries, and sprinkle with a little sugar and flakes almonds.

Bake for 45-50 mins. The frangipane should be cooked all the way through with a sugary crust on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Slice and serve – on its own or with some ice cream or custard!

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Xx

Apple and blackberry loaf


I got given a massive haul of blackberries and some little wild apples from some very kind friends (and I do mean a massive haul!). So I thought I’d better come up with another recipe to use some of them!

This time it’s a yummy loaf cake – combining the apples and blackberries. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, with a cuppa! This makes one loaf and assuming you cut it into 8 slices it’s about 284 cals per slice!

You will need:

250g self-raising flour (any type you like)

175g dairy-free spread

175g sugar (or 85g half spoon sugar for less cals)

1 small cooking apple (or in my case 5 tiny apples!)

2 large eggs, beaten

225g blackberry

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, sugar and spread in a large bowl and using a fork or your fingertips rub together to form a crumb-like mixture. Take 5 tbsp of the mixture out and place to one side. Then add the baking power and mix well.

Peel and core the apple (or mini apples in my case) and then grate into a bowl. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Add to the dry mixture and combine lightly to form a dough (try not to over mix it). Gently fold in three quarters of the blackberries.

Put the mixture into the loaf tin and scatter the remaining berries over the top and then cover with the crumb mixture you set aside earlier.

Put in the oven and bake for 60 – 80 mins. Check it half way through and cover with foil if the top is starting to burn. It’s done when a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for about 25 mins, then remove. Slice and serve!

enjoy! πŸ™‚

Xx

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

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Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them πŸ™‚

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

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Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

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Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

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Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

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Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

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