I have become quite enamoured with the ritual of afternoon tea. As life gets more busy with each year, it is the little moments of calm that I cherish. A stolen moment to myself for a cup of tea after collecting the children from school is a time I savour. Listening to the quiet buzz of the bees intoxicated by the red flowering manuka in our driveway, or watching the swallows that live in our eaves swooping around the garden.
Today I share a sweet loaf recipe to accompany that afternoon tea pause. I have used rhubarb and pear as it is what I had on hand when I first made the recipe, but the first strawberries and rhubarb would also make a delightful combination. Thanks to my sister Ana for letting me raid her monster rhubarb plants.
Rhubarb & Pear Afternoon Tea Loaf
This moist tea loaf is studded with pops of sour rhubarb, balanced with sweet chunks of pear. To add extra goodness I have used a ground seed mix in the loaf (or use desiccated coconut).
To make the seed mix, grind equal quantities of sunflower-, pumpkin- and flax seeds in a coffee grinder and store in a jar in the fridge for adding to baking and sprinkling over yoghurt and fruit. LSA can also be used.
- 2-3 stalks rhubarb, chopped into 1cm pieces (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup sugar plus 1 tbsp
- 1 pear, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces
- 1 cup white flour
- ½ cup ground seed mix - see directions above (or use LSA or desiccated coconut)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 80 ml oil - I used olive oil or melted butter can also be used
- Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven 180 degrees Celsius. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
First set aside a handful of rhubarb pieces in a small bowl and toss with one tablespoon of sugar.
Place the remaining rhubarb and pear into a mixing bowl and add the ¼ cup sugar, toss to coat then add the flour, ground seeds, baking powder, and salt.
In a jug, whisk together the milk, yoghurt, eggs, oil, and lemon zest, until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold together until just mixed. Scoop into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Scatter with the reserved rhubarb pieces and sugar.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for five minutes, then move to a cooling rack. Serve warm with an afternoon cuppa.
*Recipe first published 23rd October 2019 on Stuff.co.nz
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