Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lightly does it with this Christmas bake

I’m often asked about alternatives to the traditional Christmas baking of rich fruit cakes, mince pies and plum pudding so I’ve adapted Grandma’s popular Orange (sponge) Cake recipe from her book to make a jewel of a cake which has a lighter texture. I’ve used cranberries and pistachios as these are my favourite seasonal fruit and nuts and they make a great combination with oranges. I’m sure you’ll agree that the natural colours of Christmas shine through.
 Cranberry Orange & Pistachio Loaf
175g/6oz butter
150g/5oz caster sugar
3 eggs
175g/6oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g/4 ½oz  fresh cranberries
50g/2oz pistachio nuts (chopped)
1 orange zest & juice 
25g/1oz demerara sugar

Pre heat the oven to 180 (160C fan), Gas 4.
Cream the butter, caster sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Fold about ¾ of the cranberries and pistachio nuts and then add the orange juice. Place the mixture in a well greased or lined 1kg/2lb loaf tin. Scatter the remaining cranberries and pistachios on the top and then sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the fruit and nuts. Bake in the oven for around 35-40 minutes.

Meryl says : This is a very simple recipe which you can enjoy in the run up to Christmas. It freezes well too so you can make it ahead. You can also make it with dried cranberries if fresh ones aren’t available. I can guarantee there won’t be a piece left!

There are lots more ideas on Grandma's favourite Christmas recipes page. Take a look! Whatever you are doing and wherever you are at Christmas, I wish you a very Happy Christmas Baking season! 

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