Well thank you my lovelies for all those comments and votes - to the silent followers who spoke out, hurrah! I love you too.
I held my breath and wondered which it would be, but Pecan Bread far outstripped the other two and the final decision was yours. I like Heidi's suggestion that I should make a little mini series - so as not to upset the other two recipes. I shall post one next week and the third the week after, leaving the exact details a mystery - so you can enjoy a faint tingle of anticipation.
Finley loves pecans - munching them secretly from a tiny saucepan shaped cup measure. Huddled under a sheepskin by the pink light of the bird tree - before we have rolled out the day and let the first light in. I find these cups lined up under the sofa where he has forgotten them, like a little record of his mornings. If I ask how many pecans he has had (you can have too many nuts!) he will provide an exact tally, sometimes adding the number of dried banana chips, coconut shreds or mango pieces consumed. Always assuring me that it was less than seven of each, with palms up and long fringed eyes wide in an attitude of such innocence - who could doubt the truth of those morning inventories?
When I told Fin that I was going to make bread with his beloved pecans, and apples were featuring too, he hugged me around the waist a little too hard and shone his most brilliant smile up at my face. His first taste of that bread was the next day in some unadorned cheese sandwiches. That afternoon, before he had even stuffed his lunchbox and book bag into my bike panniers a far off look of remembrance came into his eyes and he said wistfully - "those sandwiches were fantastic, make them again!"
Pecans give this bread a slightly malty, almost wheatgerm flavour and apples lend a sweet, light moistness that makes a great piece of toast. Both flavours sing with cheese and ham, love peanut butter and are made for pear and apple spread. Cream cheese or hung yogurt would also be just perfect with a nice hot, crisp piece of thinly sliced toast.
To make the bread as low salycilate as possible use a golden delicious apple and roasted hazels in place of some or all of the almonds.
Pecan Apple Bread (for my faithful followers - and silent appreciators)
5 large Free Range Eggs
50ml (double shot) Olive Oil (or a nut oil, cold pressed sunflower or melted coconut oil)
3/4 tsp Bicarb of Soda
big pinch Sea Salt
1 tbsp lemon juice (or 2 tsp cider vinegar)
1 apple peeled and finely grated
2 oz creamed coconut (the bar kind) finely chopped or grated (or finely ground dessicated coconut)
4oz pecans ground finely
7oz ground almonds (or roast hazels/almonds)
Preheat oven to 160C and parchment line a 9" square deep sided tin - or similar sized tin.
Whisk the eggs, oil, bicarb, salt and lemon juice in a mixing bowl until frothy.
Beat in apple and coconut and then all the ground nuts. Beat until smooth.
Pour into the tin and bake for between 40 mins and an hour until risen, firm and golden brown on top. A skewer should come out clean.
Leave in the tin for ten minutes and then lift out using the parchment to help and leave to cool completely on a rack.
This freezes excellently when sliced thinly (8mm-1cm) and frozen on a chopping board in loose layers. Box or bag when completely frozen and use within two weeks.
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