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    Twisted blackberry, apple & custard loaf

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    Twisted blackberry, apple & custard loaf

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes + rising and proving
    • Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Serves: 8


    For the dough
    125ml semi-skimmed milk
    50g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
    50g Essential Custard (from a 500g pot in the chiller aisle)
    1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg
    1 1/2 tsp easy bake (fast action) yeast
    75g caster sugar
    300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    1 tsp mixed spice
    1/2 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice

    For the fillings and topping
    200g pack blackberries, halved if large
    1/2 medium Bramley apple, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
    1 tsp cornflour
    50g Essential Custard
    1/2 tsp mixed spice


    1. For the dough, bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan, then add the butter. Remove from the heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the custard, then the egg. When warm, whisk in the yeast. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl, with a pinch of salt.

    2. Stir the wet mix into the dry to make a rough dough. Leave for 10 minutes, then stir. It will feel stiffer and more elastic. Cover the bowl with a buttered reusable cover or clean damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

    3. Make the filling. In a small pan, combine 150g blackberries, the apple and 2 tbsp caster sugar. Bring to a simmer, covered, then cook for 5 minutes, mashing a few times with a fork, until thick and fairly smooth. Cool, then chill until the dough is ready. Mix the cornflour with 1 tsp water until smooth, then stir into the custard and set aside.

    4. Butter and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment, leaving a collar of paper about 3cm above the edge. Flour the work surface. Roughly pat the dough to a rectangle about 2cm thick, scatter one side of the dough with the apple, then fold the other side over. Pat to a rectangle about 40x25cm. Spread with the fruit purée, then roll up from one of the long edges. Make sure the seam is underneath.

    5. Dip a sharp knife in flour and cut the dough along its length. With the cut-side up, cross the pieces over each other a few times, like a rope. Pinch the ends together. This can get messy. Pat the dough at either end to bunch the loaf up a little, so it fits into the tin. Prove in a warm place for another 20-30 minutes, or until risen a little and the dough no longer bounces back when prodded. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.

    6. Poke the remaining berries randomly all over the loaf, then drizzle with stripes of custard. Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes, or until risen, deep golden and doesn’t wobble. A skewer inserted should come out clean. Mix the remaining sugar and spice and scatter over the top. Cool completely before slicing. Delicious served with extra custard and a strong coffee.   

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