Recipe of the Month

Banana and lemon loaf

Am I the only person who waited until the end of lockdown was almost in sight before starting to bake banana bread?  The combination of lemon and allspice makes this a little different!

2 eggs

4 oz (110g) soft brown sugar

4 oz (110g) butter

2 bananas

8 oz (225g) self raising wholemeal flour

2 tbsp lemon curd

½ tsp ground allspice



Oven: Esse 170, half past the hour on thermodial, Aga baking oven, 170C, 350F, Gas 4


Prepare in advance: Will keep in a well-hidden tin for two or three days


Freeze: Yes

Line a 2lb loaf tin with Bake-O-Glide. If possible, set the butter beside the cooker to soften for half an hour before making the cake.


Peel and mash the bananas.  Beat in the rest of the ingredients and pour into the prepared tin and bake.


Set the grid shelf onto the floor of the oven and put the loaf tin onto it.  Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown and risen.


Aga roasting oven: Set the loaf tin into the big roasting tin and hang this from the lowest runners in the roasting oven.  Slide the cold plain shelf onto the 2nd runners above.


Take the cooked cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. 


Serve in slices.

Line the base and sides of an 8”/20cm deep round cake tin with Bake-O-Glide.


Wash the fruit and pile into a bowl.  Stir in the port and orange oil or rind.  Cover and leave to steep for 24 hours.


Mix together the almonds, butter, flour, sugar, eggs, treacle and spice.  Fold in the soaked fruit.


Pour into the tin and bake for about 6 to 8 hours – some ovens are faster than others!  When a clean skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, the cake is cooked.


Leave to cool, then spoon over 2 tbsp brandy.  Leave for about 6 hours to soak, then wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool cupboard – not the fridge. 


About once a month, open the package and spoon over a little more brandy.  Do not pierce the cake with a skewer once it is cooked and cooled, the brandy will soak in quite easily without.


About 3 weeks before the cake is needed (ie. at the beginning of December), remove from the paper and brush the cake with melted redcurrant jelly or apricot jam, then cover in marzipan and icing, and decorate.