Here’s something delicious that you can make this long weekend. It took me a few attempts, but I’m finally happy enough with this peach and blackberry loaf to share it with you. It’s not too sweet — in fact, my personal favourite version has 1/4 cup less sugar than what I’ve posted here. I prefer mine less sweet than a cake, so if you like it sweet than I suggest going with the version published below.
Note that blackberries are an optional ingredient. I didn’t set out to include them, but happenstance intervened. Here’s how that came about.
I recently hosted a party for some of my lady food friends last week, and in a surprise turn of events I was gifted a GIGANTIC box of peaches by Debbie Wiecha of Niagara Lavender Farms (thanks so much Debbie!). Her peaches, apricots, and lavender are worth hitting up the Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday nights. Later, I needed last-minute preserving ingredients so I nipped out to my local Italian greengrocer. One of the women there has been selling blackberries grown her backyard and I had bought a few boxes previously to use in peach and blackberry jam. We got to talking at the time about my plans and so when I returned, I brought a jar to give to her. In turn, she surprised me with another box of blackberries!
I’m pretty jammed out, having made more batches of assorted types recently than you can imagine, many of which included either peaches or blackberries, or both. Peach and blackberries make a good compliment so it was only natural to put them together in a loaf.
Since the key ingredients in this loaf were given to me in kind gestures from generous people, I thought it only fair that I pay it forward in kind by publishing this recipe freely. Enjoy!
Recipe: Peach and Blackberry Loaf
When ingredients allow, I try to make a double batch of loaves instead of just one. It takes no extra effort and you can freeze the extra if you really don’t think you’ll eat them up quickly enough. For that reason, this recipe makes two loaves.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick or about 1/4 lb)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (note that I reduced this to 1/2 cup for a less sweet loaf)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 x-large eggs
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups flour (I used 1 cup coarse spelt and 2 cups finely ground spelt)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 peach, chopped
- 1 or 2 peaches sliced
- about 1 cup fresh blackberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two- 41/2 x 81/2 (or 5 x 9) loaf pans. Alternately, I suggest this fantastic tip that I learned from Heidi at 101Cookbooks.com when making her equally awesome zucchini bread. Rather than greasing the pan, which, let’s face it, is more work — line the pans with pieces of parchment. Cut it so that a little bit extra drapes over the pan on each side. Once baked, you can grab the parchment ends and lift the loaf out. This works particularly well with non-stick pans (I have two of these inexpensive Calphalon pans).
In a large bowl or mixer (I got this one last xmas and it has revolutionized baking for me) fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and add the extracts and yoghurt until combined.
In a separate, large bowl, sift together the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I use a whisk to do this when I’m too lazy to get out the sifter, which, to be honest, is often.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once. If using a mixer, turn it to low. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to gently fold the chopped peaches in by hand. Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans.
Top each pan with the sliced peaches and blackberries, pressing them into the batter ever-so-slightly. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a toothpick or thin bamboo skewer comes out clean. Pay special attention to the dough around the peaches. I used very ripe peaches in one of my batches and I found that these areas were exceedingly slow to bake as a result.
Makes 2 loaves.