I often buy fresh produce because I like the look of it. It may be that something looks exotic, or uber-fresh or smells amazing, and I buy it just because I feel I can’t miss the opportunity to eat it.
Standing in the fruit market, while popping the produce into my basket, I rack my brain for great recipes to spring to mind – and they usually don’t. I’ve come to realise that I am a slow boil recipe developer and I need a few hours or overnight to have the perfect recipe spring to mind for my fruit market finds.
It’s funny the things you learn about yourself when you build your cooking confidence. As I started this blog to become more creative with food, I am delighted that I can now develop my own great recipes outside the flavour profile of Italian food.
Because of my need to consider my star ingredient purchase and run through a few ideas in my mind before a lightbulb moment strikes, it has become extremely important that I maintain my fridge and pantry staples at all times so that I can avoid multiple trips to the supermarket.
This Apple and Strawberry Bread is one of those recipes that was born out of the purchase of wonderfully crisp and fragrant Golden Delicious apples and perfectly formed ruby red strawberries at the fruit market. I had bought them without the intention of using them together, but after a days thinking, I decided that I would love to try them together in a the style of banana bread.
I decided to make it as a Monday morning treat for my wonderful colleagues. If any of you remember my Gluten Free Raspberry Ricotta Cake you will remember by gluten intolerant friend, Justine. Knowing Justine would miss out on trying my cake if I used normal flour, and excited at the prospect of coming up with my own gluten-free cake recipe, I relished the opportunity to try and make it gluten-free.
Reading through Rowie Dillon’s Indulge cookbook a few weeks earlier really taught me a few things about gluten-free baking and I was delighted when the bread came together easily and rose beautifully when baked.
I didn’t want to cut into it until I got to work so it was an anxious wait until the 10:30 coffee run when we all cut into it. After first bite, I was a little shocked at how great it tasted. It was moist and light and the apple and strawberry flavours were balanced nicely. My colleagues agreed that unless you were told that it was gluten-free you would never have guessed. A successful first try me thinks!
GLUTEN-FREE APPLE AND STRAWBERRY BREAD
1 large Golden Delicious apple
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
3 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tbsp light ricotta
1 punnet strawberries, cut in 1cm pieces.
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius (see measurements page for Fahrenheit conversion).
Cut apple into small 1cm cubes. Melt butter in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Add apple cubes and saute until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl sift in rice flour, almond meal and baking powder. Add cinnamon and sugar and stir well to combine.
To the bowl add milk, egg and ricotta and stir till just combined. Add apple and strawberry pieces and fold through till they are evenly dispersed.
Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake until the top is browned and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre (about 50 mins). Remove from oven and set aside until cooled. Once cool, remove from loaf tin and enjoy.