I’m probably shouting into a lockdown banana bread void when I say this, but here goes: Nigella’s banana bread recipe is magic. It’s so easy and effortless to prepare, contains restrained amounts of those ingredients that are hard to get right now (flour, sugar) and uses ample ingredients that we have lying around (vegetable oil, overripe fruit).
I will always be a huge fan of her recipes, the simplest additions make a huge difference, like the tahini in this recipe. It adds a tangy fudgey-ness that gives the loaf a unique flavour and texture ready to pair with any sweet accompaniment.
Her original recipe cites chocolate and cocoa powder as the perfect pairing for tahini, which I can confirm is delicious, but I had some pears lying around so decided to experiment with those.
Even if your pears look beyond saving, there’s usually some flesh that’s useable, so peel back the bruises and give it a go. You could also use some past-their best apples for this recipe or even add a pinch of cinnamon or dried ginger for a spicier loaf.
2 x overripe bananas (250g with skin on)
2 x bruised pears
50g caster sugar
35g soft dark brown sugar
85g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml vegetable oil
optional: sesame seeds and flaked almonds
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a 1 litre loaf tin. You could also use some greaseproof paper if you have some (I didn’t, so I used a little vegetable oil).
Using an electric hand mixer or a fork, mash together the bananas until smooth. Add the tahini, vanilla extract, oil and egg and beat until combined.
Add the sugars and the flour and stir to combine. Peel and chop the pears into 1cm chunks and stir through the cake mix. Scatter over some sesame seeds and flaked almonds, then bake for 45 minutes.
Leave for at least 15 minutes before attempting to turn it out of the tin, or leave to cool completely before diving in.