I really need to start planning more seriously before buying. And then follow through on those plans. Before Christmas I had a vague, half formed idea in my head that it would be really good to make dried apricots in brandy as a gift for my lovely mother. Sadly, time ran away with me and they never did get made. I did accomplish the first step of the plan to make them though... I bought the dried apricots. Really quite a lot of apricots as it happens, because the Kilner jar I was planning on using can take quite a lot of fruit and I thought having a few spare wouldn't be a problem.
I think you're probably getting the idea of where this post is going. Yes, I now need to use up rather a lot of dried apricots. The loaf made a small dent in the bag, but the journey of a thousand miles and all that...
It's a surprisingly good combination. Marmalade and apricot, apricot and marmalade. The apricots (and don't be put off their appearance - I favour the unsulphured dried apricots which are naturally darker than their sulphur dioxide preserved sunny cousins) are intensely sweet and the marmalade adds that bitter edge to counter the sweetness. I was pretty impressed given that I was just glancing around to see what on earth I could do with all these apricots! (Other ideas welcome....)
Hmm, apparently this was such an off-the-cuff loaf that I didn't bother to make a note of either the ingredients or the method. This is annoying and slightly distressing because I want to share this loaf cake, and I want to be able to make it again. Ah well, my (very vague) memories of making it will just have to suffice.
Marmalade and Apricot Loaf Cake
Ingredients (I think I used something approximating the list given below...)
125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
2tbsp homemade marmalade (probably about 40g)
60g dried apricots, chopped small (I used unsulphured and they were rather dry - I was worried they'd shrivel up and be nasty and chewy but they weren't)125-150g self raising flour (I genuinely can't recall this)
there may or may not have been a spoonful of yogurt in there...
Method - more secure than the ingredients list, as I can remember what I did!
- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, marmalade and flour and continue beating until well combined. Fold through the apricots and spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for around 40-50 minutes. I recall thinking that 35 minutes would be enough for this rather shallow loaf cake, but mine took about 50. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
As I said earlier, this is a successful combination - bitter shreds of peel, sweet chunks of apricot and a rich buttery cake to offset it all. Rather happily consumed by my work colleagues. And rather appropriately, I started this blog 400 posts ago with a marmalade cake for my very first post :-) I have indeed reached 400 posts and although those who find the time to blog every day will no doubt scoff at my measly total, I'm rather proud of myself!