Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Fruit Tea Loaf

This is an old favourite of mine, something Gran used to make for tea on a Saturday. I love fruit cake, and finished the last of the Christmas cake just a couple of weeks ago. I was missing my supper-time treat.

Here, the dried fruit is soaked overnight in cold tea so it plumps up and keeps the cake moist, at the same time giving it a distinctive flavour. I used Ceylon Orange Pekoe; you can use something different if you prefer, but don't let the tea stew or it will be too bitter. The following is based on a recipe from Leiths Baking Bible

Fruit Tea Loaf

  • 115g sultanas
  • 115g raisins
  • 115g currants
  • grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 290ml cold tea
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix together the dried fruit, zest and sugar. Pour over the cold tea, give it a stir, and leave to soak overnight. Mix in the beaten egg, sift in the flour and baking powder, and stir well to combine. Pour into a greased 2lb loaf tin and bake for 1¼ hours in an oven pre-heated to 170℃. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out.

The Baking Bible also includes recipes for Lemon Tea Loaf, Cinnamon and Apple Tea Loaf, Berry Tea Loaf, and Sherry, Date and Walnut Tea loaf - so there's plenty of room for some experimentation.

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