The original recipe that this Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf is based on had been bookmarked for years but I never seemed to have the time, ingredients or inclination to get it made. It’s physically bookmarked with a little tab of paper that pre-dates virtual bookmarking. My ‘to review’ board on Pinterest tells a similar story, as do the saved lists of recipes on the bookmark toolbar that I hope to make ‘one day’. I have come back to the recipe many times over the years but it has never made it into my repertoire. Until now.
Never Let A Recipe Get In The Way
When the chips were down and I needed to make a dessert at the last minute to take to my Brother’s house, I bit the bullet. As I was baking on the day before I was heading overseas, I did what I so often do attempting to use what was left in the fridge. The recipe is based on a cake in Donna Hay’s Off The Shelf but I have freely adapted it to the point where you could say that it’s my own recipe. To say I love this book is an understatement. Even now as I flip through the pages, I can see splashes and feel a light dusting of flour on some of the pages. I have cooked so many items from it and still there is a mountain to climb!
The pears (not in the original recipe) used the first time were fairly unyielding but still worked well. I have since used riper pears with similar success. I also seemed to have an excess of fig jam, which I substituted for the golden syrup. In my experience, the addition of some crystalised or naked ginger is always a good thing and you can’t go wrong with pecans. When I make this style of loaf cake, I always try to add at least some wholemeal flour but not necessarily the whole amount as I don’t want it to be too heavy.
I enjoy this Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf best when it is sliced thickly and toasted. It also transports well so is good for picnics or as a lunchbox treat. Not only is it quick to make, it’s the type of mixture that can be adapted to muffins. Perfect for a contribution to a work morning tea or to bribe the neighbours as a thanks for their patience over our long renovation. Since I first made this a couple of months ago, I have made it several times since and wonder why I took so long to make it in the first place. That’s one recipe ticked off of the list, dozens if not hundreds more to go.
What recipe have you bookmarked but have yet to get around to making?
Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf
- 125g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup x raw or caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 x cup plain flour, white
- ½ x cup plain flour, wholemeal
- 1 x tspn baking powder
- 1 x tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 cup x fig jam (or substitute golden syrup)
- 1 x large or 2 x small firm-ripe pears, cored and diced
- 6 – 8 pieces of glace or crystalised ginger, chopped
- pecan nuts to decorate
- Place butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix in well.
- Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, jam (or syrup), crystalised ginger and diced pears (I don’t bother peeling them). Mix gently with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Pour into a large lined loaf tin (20cm x 10cm). Decorate top of batter with pecans if you are using them.
- Bake in an oven pre-heated to 160c and cook for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf in the tin for several minutes and then turn out onto wire rack.
- Great served toasted with butter and also nice warmed with a scoop of ice cream!
- Follow steps 1 – 3 above
- Spoon mixture into lined muffin tins (spray and use papers as this is a sticky mix)
- Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180c and cook for 25 – 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Makes 1 large loaf or approx 18 muffins (depending on size of muffin tin)
*This post contains an affiliate link to 100% Australian owned and operated Dymocks Booksellers, should you wish to purchase Donna Hay’s Off The Shelf. I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from any purchases made via the link.