Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fig and Walnut Loaf

I noticed that my last few blog entries were all focused on cooking for, or with, kids. So I made sure that this next post was one for the adults. Though I'm sure there must be kids who love figs and walnuts, I don't remember ever being one or  knowing any. Luckily my tastes changed and now I'm a huge fan.

Recently we were lucky enough to be gifted a big cardboard box of walnuts. So this weekend I sat outside in the sun (a rare occurrence during this crappy winter weather we've been having), and spent about an hour just cracking them all open. I gotta say, I found it a totally Zen experience. I found it so satisfying and relaxing trying to get the walnut out in one whole piece. Yep I do realise I sound like a dorky weirdo extolling the virtues of cracking nuts, but I don't care, I'm glad I can find enjoyment in the small things in life. And surely I'm not the only freak who finds certain menial tasks hugely satisfying? I get the same feeling when stacking wood; the perfect combo of using body and mind = bliss.

Anyway before I scare everyone away with my inane ramblings, here's a yummy recipe using walnuts! Surprise surprise. A fig and walnut loaf. It's a nice moist loaf, with a great hint of citrus and spice. I came up with it just using things I had at hand, e.g the yoghurt was near expiring and I had to start to make a dent in the big pile of walnuts. It's an adaptable recipe, so you could swap figs for other dried fruits such as apricots or dates. The loaf is sweet but not overly so. So it's not quite a cake, but just as moreish. It's just perfect for afternoon tea, on its own or spread with butter. I've still got a bunch of walnuts left, so if you have any suggestions for what I could do with them, let me know.


  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt (I use a honey variety, but plain is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon of 'mixed spice' (or any combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc.)
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs (approx 260g/14 dried figs)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 cup high grade/all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • pinch of salt
  •  3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts (half goes in the loaf, half on top)


Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).

Next add the yoghurt, milk, orange rind and mixed spice to a small saucepan. Heat slowly on a moderate heat until it just starts to bubble (don't let it boil though). Take it off the heat and let it stand until the figs soften a bit, about 15 minutes is fine, just let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the sugar oil and eggs. Then add the cooled yoghurt fruit mixture to it. Give it another quick mix.

In another bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, salt and half of the walnuts. Now add the liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix it until just combined.

Pour the batter into an 21 cm loaf tin (8 x 4-inch) coated with cooking spray (or however you prefer to grease your tins). Sprinkle the rest of the walnuts evenly over the top.

Chuck it in the oven and bake for approx 40 minutes or until cooked.

Let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before taking it out and cooling it on a rack.


  1. Hello lovely!
    I'm totally going to give this a go!!! And remind me not to read your posts just before morning tea!!
    Kellie xoxo

    1. Haha well I'm not gonna blame ya for any comfort-eating, it must be freezing cold down there! Take care, miss you guys!


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