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Earl Grey Tea Loaf

As much as I like cake I don't have a very sweet tooth. One thing I've loved since being a Junior Gingerbread myself is light fruit cake, malt loaf and especially tea loaf. If its the type of cake that a thin spread of butter is a good addition to - then I'm your girl. So, we come to the tea loaf. Really quick and simple to make and not too sweet (so completely my thing). What I also love is you can change the type of tea used, vary the fruit you add in to keep it interesting (and use up any odd bits of dried fruit left in packets).

Optional extras include adding a teaspoon of mixed spice, boosting the marmalade and reducing the sugar to get it extra 'orangy'. If you have a favourite type of tea then swap that for the Earl Grey. I found a few dates an especially nice addition. Actually, thinking about it, this is really a tea loaf template that you can mess about with a bit.

Fruit soaked over night in tea

1 cup cold black tea
8 oz mixed dried fruit
8 oz self-raising flour
4 oz superfine sugar
1 large beaten egg
2 tablespoons orange marmalade*

- Soak the fruit in hot tea for at least a couple of hours (over night is great)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the marmalade and beaten egg
- Add the fruit, including any tea not soaked up
- Pop into a greased loaf tin (1.5 pound)
- Bake for 1 hour

*Embarrassing  notes #1 & #2 - don't try and mix in Marmalade straight from the fridge. Also, I ended up using multiple teaspoons as a tablespoon didn't fit in the jar!

I've been making this for years and don't have the provenance, just some scribbles in the back of an old notepad.


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