Dead-easy fruit loaf

This is a variant on tea loaf, barm brack, bara brith, etc.  It’s fat-free, and my version’s got no added sugar, either.

Save up the cold tea that never made it out of the tea pot.  Put this aside, and weigh out

1 lb or so of currants, sultanas, raisins and peeled, cored and chopped fresh apple.  (A couple of smallish apples or a big one should do.  Ratios of dried fruit whatever you like.)

Cover this with old tea, and leave to soak overnight.

Pre-heat your oven to about 150C.  Mix into your fruit

12 oz self-raising flour

1 egg

The amount of tea you soak the fruit in is variable; your mixture should be sticky rather than runny:  a thick cake mixture.  You might need to add a little more flour if it’s slopping off your spoon.

Put the mixture into a well-greased loaf tin (I use a bit of butter paper or baking parchment to line the bottom – it makes turning it out so much easier).  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours.  If you’ve an Aga-type range, put it in the top oven for 1/2 to 3/4 hour and then move to the bottom oven.  Stick a skewer into it to see if it’s done – it should come out mainly clean, but doesn’t have to be totally clean for the loaf to be done.  Turn out onto a cooling rack.

It’s great slavered with butter, or toasted and slavered with butter.  It also works very nicely with a bit of cheese.



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