Saturday, 25 August 2012

Moist Fruity Tea Bread

While Mr Simply Veg was trying to beat my new laptop (which I still don’t like!) into submission last week I had a poke around in some of my old handwritten notebooks; they’re full of recipes that I’ve picked up over the years from various sources. Some of them are from magazines and some from friends and family that I’ve scribbled down on a piece of paper and then transferred to my notebooks at a later date. I have to confess I’ve never actually made most of the recipes, but they made good reading.

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here and raining, unsurprisingly, so it seemed like a good time to bake a little something and resurrect one of the old recipes. This is one that I used to regularly make years ago (when I say ‘years ago’, I mean about 25; blimey, I’m getting old!) but it obviously fell by the wayside for some reason. It would be nice if I could credit the person this recipe came from, but that seems to have been lost in the mists of time and the crevices of my memory.

In my notebook it says serve this tea bread thickly sliced and buttered; I feel butter is a bit over the top, it’s nice and moist from the tea-soaked fruit, but it’s up to you.

By the way, if you’ve got odd bits and pieces of dried fruit in the pantry this is the recipe to use them up. I used just over 300gm of mixed fruit and made it up to 450gm with half a tub of mixed peel and the remains of a bag of dried cranberries. As I’ve said before…waste not, want not.
450gm mixed dried fruit
250ml hot tea (without milk!)
100g unsalted very soft butter
1 tbsp marmalade
2 eggs, beaten
175g light brown sugar
450g self-raising flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the fruit in a large bowl and pour over the hot tea, mix well, cover and leave to steep overnight.

Next day, put the butter, marmalade, sugar and eggs into a large bowl and mix well together with a wooden spoon; add the flour and spices plus the fruit and any tea that hasn’t been absorbed. Mix well, and turn into a 2lb loaf tin lined with baking parchment.

Bake at 160C for 1¼ - 1½ hours and cool on a wire rack.   

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