Hunk o' Fruit: Bill Granger's Oat, Pear, and Raspberry Loaf

It's not often that we buy a cookbook for just one recipe, but we confess we did that here. All it took was one photo...
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The Oat, Pear, and Raspberry Loaf is from bills open kitchen (his lack of proper capitalization/punctuation, not ours, we hasten to add) by Bill Granger, and it was the first thing that greeted us as we flipped through this book at a used-book store.

The whole grains of the oats and the oozing streak of jammy pear-and-raspberry fruitiness stopped us cold. There was a bright flare of Sydney sunshine that popped off the page; the background was white and hazed out. We are suckers - we bought the book.

Fortunately this book has more good recipes; our Valentine leaned over and saw the savory French toast stuffed with Gruyere and ham and almost drooled on the page.

Bill Granger is a Sydney culinary darling - the Jamie Oliver of Australia, full of cheery, easy, and well-photographed recipes that pop off the pages of gorgeous books. We don't usually buy books for the photos but sometimes you just need a little extra sunshine.

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A note on this recipe: it turned out a little gummy for us. It's dense and rich - more like a cake than a bread. We tweaked the recipe a little, but warning! We haven't tested these tweaks yet. So proceed at your own recipe-testing risk. We would add extra fruit, lower the amount of water added to the oats, and drain the oats more thoroughly. Also, make sure to cream the sugar and butter very well, and to cool the cooked oats.

We used Trader Joe's frozen black raspberries and they had a wonderful flavor!

Oat, Pear and Raspberry Loaf
adapted from bills open kitchen

topping:
25 g (1/4 cup) rolled old-fashioned oats
55 g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
2 tablespoons plain all purpose flour
25 g (1 oz or 2 tablespoons) chilled butter, cut into small pieces

cake:
100 g (1 cup) rolled oats
375 ml (1 cup) boiling water
150g (5.5oz or 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced
115g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
185g (1.5 cups) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ripe pears, peeled cored and diced
120g (1 cup) raspberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. To make the topping, place all the ingredients into a bowl and rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until well incorporated and small clumps form.

To make the cake, place the oats into a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir and leave to cool until lukewarm. Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl. Drain as much excess water as you can off the oats. Add the oats to the mixture and fold to combine. Spread 2/3 of the mixture into a greased or nonstick 19x11cm (7.5x4.5in) loaf pan. Sprinkle with the pears and raspberries, top with the remaining cake batter then sprinkle the topping over evenly.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. This is hard to judge since the center is so oozy gooey. Bake at least the recommended time and make sure the top springs back a little when poked. Turn out onto a plate before quickly transferring to a wire rack with the topping facing upwards. Leave to cool slightly before cutting. Serve in slices with butter. Makes 8-10 slices.

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