A couple of weeks ago we did one of our regular local walks and as usual it didn’t disappoint: there is always something interesting to see. On that occasion it was teeny tiny frogs smaller than the fingernail on my little finger crossing the path, deer playing hide and seek in a corn field, and wild raspberries. The raspberries were tiny but delicious and it was such a thrill to find them. We did the same walk again this week and it was very different. No frogs (it was dry), no deer (the field had been harvested) and no sign of any raspberries (too many stinging nettles). Instead we found blackberries already ripening and sloes gearing up for what looks to be a bumper harvest. Luckily we went prepared for blackberry picking and I used some for this loaf and put the rest in the freezer. I’m looking forward to many more happy days picking (and eating) blackberries over the next couple of months.
I slightly over-baked my loaf as although it didn’t look properly cooked on the top, it actually was. It is definitely worth using a skewer to double check even if it doesn’t look done. I used coconut oil partly as a healthy alternative, and partly for the flavour, but you could replace it with butter, vegetable oil or margarine if you prefer.
100g coconut oil
225g soft brown sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes
100g crème fraîche, buttermilk or natural yogurt
275g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
30g dessicated coconut
Set the oven to 180ºC.
Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Beat together the coconut oil, sugar, lime zest and juice, eggs and crème fraîche until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in.
Add the blackberries and mix in gently so that they are evenly distributed.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for around 50-60 minutes but check it after about 40 minutes. If the coconut is browning too quickly cover the loaf with aluminium foil. The loaf is ready when it is well browned, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least half an hour in the tin before removing carefully and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.