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Friday, 31 August 2007

Fruity Tea Bread

I find this recipe an excellent one to use when I want to bake a fruit loaf. I start the night before by soaking the fruits in hot strong tea to swell the fruit to gorgeous plumpness. Occasionally I have added chopped glace cherries to the fruits. If I use glace cherries, I wash them first in a sieve to remove the sticky syrup, this helps I find to stop them sinking to the bottom of the loaf. I am thinking of using different flavoured tea at some point to see what difference this would make to the overall taste.

I store this loaf in a cake tin wrapped in foil and it keeps perfectly well for up to a week or it could be frozen for a later date. I like to serve this loaf thinly sliced spread with butter but of course it still tastes very good on its own.

Here is the recipe.

Fruity Tea Bread


100ml (3 ½ fl oz) strong hot tea
450g (1 lb) mixed fruit, raisins, sultanas or dried fruit of choice
175g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
25g (1 oz) butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
250g (9 oz) plain flour, sieved
½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sieved together with the flour


Night before, place the tea, mixed fruit and sugar in a bowl and cover with cling film and leave overnight to soak.

Neat day, preheat the oven 180°C/Gas mark 4/360°F. You will need a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin, lined with baking paper and greased well.
Stir in the egg and melted butter and fold in the sieved ingredients.
Bake in a preheated oven on the middle shelf for 1 - 1½ hours or until firm to touch or a skewer placed into the middle of the cake comes out clean. When cooked, leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

Best served sliced with butter.

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