As far as the English frame of mind is concerned, nothing goes better with a good book (in fact what is the ultimate accompaniment or panacea to everything) than ‘a nice cup of tea’. This does not mean a bog standard tea bag dunked into a mug of boiling water; it should be some top quality loose-leaf tea spooned into a pre-warmed teapot, over which freshly boiled water is poured, and the infusion left to brew for four or five minutes. When ready pour through a tea strainer into a cup. Add milk and sugar to taste and this hot beverage will bear no resemblance to its common, convenience cousin.
Having made such a pot recently, and finding myself with leftover liquid in the pot, I made the following tea bread:
- 175g chopped dates
- 50g raisins
- 500g mixed dried fruit (ring the changes: currants, sultanas, dried cherries, dried cranberries, whatever you fancy)
- 200 ml hot strained tea
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 tbsp marmalade
- 175g muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- Juice and rind of 1/2 lemon
- 450g self raising flour
- 1 medium free range egg
- Line 2 x 1 lb loaf tins
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350ºF, gas mark 4)
- Combine the dried fruit, marmalade, sugar, lemon and spices with the hot tea and leave covered for a minimum of two hours
- When ready, beat in the egg and flour, pour into the baking tins and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours
When cool serve in generous slices, buttered or not, depending on your preference.
MMMmmm. I love tea bread! I would recommend pieces of crystallised ginger for extra tastiness!
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I know I should have responded before now. Have you tried to make the tea bread yet? Actually I don’t like ginger, but each to his/her own.