This is a lovely moist, dense teabread recipe which I tried for the first time a few weeks ago. Don't expect a dry cake-like texture. The fruit needs to be soaked overnight so don't forget to plan ahead with this recipe. I doubled the ingredients up and made three at once, one in a 2lb loaf tin and two in 6'' round cake tins. They also freeze really well either as a whole cake (wrapped in foil and put into a sealed freezer bag) or in slices (in a container separated by greaseproof paper) and the flavour seems to improve with age. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I think this will be a favourite to take with me to my allotment!
(for one 900g/2lb loaf tin)
350g (12oz) mixed dried fruit
(I used currants, raisins,a few chopped up dates, glacé cherries, mixed peel)
50g chopped walnuts (optional)
225g (8oz) light brown sugar
300ml (10oz) hot tea (made using 2 teabags/2 teaspoons loose tea)
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
1.Put the mixed dried fruit and sugar into a bowl, pour the hot tea over it, stir to mix. (Add orange juice, alcohol or a combination of liquids instead of tea if you prefer). Cover the bowl and leave to stand in a cool place overnight allowing the fruit to plump up.
2. Grease and line the loaf tin with non-stick baking parchment.
3. Preheat oven to 150oC/Fan oven 130oC/300oF/Gas Mark 2
4. Add walnuts, flour, lemon zest and beaten egg to the fruit mixture and stir well. The mixture may appear quite runny but don't be tempted to add more flour.
5. Put the mixture into the lined tin and level the surface with the back of a metal spoon.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 1hr 15mins - 1hr 30mins or until the teabread is well risen, golden and firm to the touch. A fine metal skewer or sharp knife should come out clean when inserted in the centre. I found that the teabread I made in the round cake tins required a further 10-15 mins cooking time in the oven.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 10mins then turn the teabread out onto a wire cooling rack. When completely cool remove the baking paper and store in an airtight tin.
Teabreads standing to cool for 10 mins before being turned out onto wire cooling rack.
Teabread cooled and sliced