Sunday, 25 January 2015

Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Bread

A moist and summery fruit loaf with pear, raspberry and lots of coconut topped with a crunchy, sweet crust.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut loaf Cassie Cakes

Now what is it exactly that makes this bread a bread? Really, it's more like cake but you can eat for breakfast without raising too many eyebrows. That being said, I'll eat a piece for chocolate cake for breakfast any day. But for those with slightly stricter guidelines, this bread presents you with an excuse to eat cake any time of the day. If you need one. Which I don't. 
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
When will Mr. Cakes paint that window trim? Maybe never.

Pear and raspberries are a much underappreciated pairing, if you ask me. The crispiness of pear goes well with the tart sweetness of the raspberry and they look really pretty together. Then imagine if you invited coconut along to that party. Things are heating up. Pear, raspberry and coconut get on so well, they must be French. The French are cool with that sort of thing.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
Note the action shot up there? Pretty tricky.

This is a nice, easy recipe and besides being a little longer to cook in the oven, it's pretty quick too. The main thing that differentiates this bread from a cake is the method of adding the wet ingredients to the dry in one go. Sift the flour with the raising agent, then stir in the sugars and coconut. Follow that with the wet then the fruit, and you're done. So easy.

Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
All ready for the oven!

Something I find these kind of sweet breads can be too dry. It's for this reason that I like to put two types of fat into them. The melted butter gives the richness and flavours while a neutral flavoured oil like a plain vegetable oil ensure the bread is moist during the long baking time.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
Love it when cracked and imperfect is a good thing! Extra crunchy bits.
I also like to use two types of sugar. I like caster sugar for the sweetness and texture that it gives while the brown sugar gives the depth of flavour and richness. You can just as easily use one type if you run out of either or can't be bothered to get both containers out of the cupboard. The struggle is real.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
Butter makes it better.
There is something so inherently pleasant about baking in a loaf tin. And the more battered up they are, the better. Turning out a loaf of cake is simply one of life's little pleasures. 
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
Bread by the morning light.
I also like to sprinkle the top of the loaf with a generous amount of coconut and caster sugar for an extra crunchy top.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
Pear, raspberry and coconut bread goodness.

This recipe is really easy to whip up too, and it freezes really well. It's a good thing to bake on a sunny Sunday afternoon, eat half of it, warm and slathered with butter then regret it since your diets been going so well, then freeze the rest to make it harder to eat. But then microwave it and eat the rest. Not that that's what happened to me.

Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf Cassie Cakes
So good.
Serve this loaf in thick slices with plenty of butter and a sprinkling of icing sugar, if you so wish.
Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Bread

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 mins
Total time:  1 hour 30 mins
Servings: 12 slices
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large pears, cored and chopped
150g raspberries - either fresh or frozen

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder in a large bowl then add both sugars and coconut and mix well.
  4. Make a well in the centre and add the egg mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the butter and oil, fold 3 - 4 times then add the pear and raspberries and fold gently til just combined.
  6. Add to loaf tin and smooth with the back of wooden spoon.
  7. Top with additional flour and a generous sprinkle of caster sugar.
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 10 mins.
  9. Allow to cool slightly.
  10. Serve warm with a generous amount of butter and a sprinkle of icing sugar, if desired.

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