Sunday, 27 December 2009

Zoe's fruit loaf ~ made with tea

Here is a favourite recipe given to me by a dear friend many years ago:

Overnight soak:
1 pound of mixed fruit (500 grams)
2 cups of cold tea
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Then add:
2 cups of self-raising flour (if using standard flour add 2 tsp baking powder)
1 well beaten egg.
Mix well, pour into a well-greased loaf tin. 

The original recipe says to bake for up to 2 hours in a moderate oven (300 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 degrees Celcius). Oven's vary, and I've found this to be too long for mine.  I suggest you check progress after an hour and possibly leave it in for another ten or twenty minutes or so.  A well-cooked loaf is likely to be a deep golden brown and have a good firm crust. 

Once baked to your satisfaction take it out and leave it until the following day before cutting - if possible - it isn't!  The years have proved this to be so! 

I've found that packs of mixed fruit vary in moisture content, and that the amount of tea needed varies.  The main thing is to be sure that whatever fruit you have has enough tea in which to soak so that it can absorb as much as it will hold, so starting the soaking process with enough tea to cover the fruit works well.

Once combined with other ingredients the mixture should drop off the spoon easily, so it pays to have some additional cold tea to hand in case it seems too stiff. 

If using double the amount of fruit the mixture can easily be adapted to make three loaves.  They freeze well.  When serving you'll find loaves moist and not in need of butter.


Grace Dalley said...

Can't imagine there being much cold tea lying around at your place! ;-)

Leigh said...

Well, yes, there is that little difficulty :-)