Fruit tea bread

The dried fruit needs to be soaked in hot tea overnight, so start your preparations the day before you plan to bake.

Ingredients
350g/ 12oz mixed dried fruit
225g/ 8oz light muscovado sugar
330m 1/2 pint hot tea made using 2 tspns loose tea or 2 tea bags
275g/ 10 oz self raising flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
One large egg, beaten

Method

  1. Put the mixed dried fruit and sugar in a bowl, stir to mix, then pour over the hot tea. Cover the bowl and leave in a cool place overnight to allow the fruit to swell.
  2. The next day, lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking parchment or greaseproof paper to cover the sides and base. Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/300F/ gas mark 2.
  3. Add the flour, lemon zest and beaten egg to the fruit mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Turn into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1¼ – 1½ hours or until the tea bread is well risen and firm to the touch and a fine skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then loosen with a small palette knife. Turn the tea bread out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Remove the lining paper and serve sliced and buttered.

Christine Halliday

December 2017 – January 2018