This recipe is for a nice simple fruit loaf- the fruit is definitely better if it's given the chance to have a good soak in the tea so if, like me, you have a nice cup of tea before bed then simply make an extra bit for the fruit and continue with the recipe in the morning. This loaf reminds me of one my mum makes and is lovely spread thickly with some proper Irish butter- you can pretend it's health food- in fact I pretend it is one of my five-a-day...
1 cup cold tea
1lb fruit-mixture of raisins, sultanas, currants
2 eggs- free range and organic if possible
1 cup brown sugar
Generous teaspoon mixed spice
2 ½ cups self raising flour
Level teaspoon baking powder
1. Pop the fruit into a large bowl and pour over the cup of cold tea. Soak the fruit in the tea over night. This allows the fruit to become juicy and plump.
2. The next day preheat the oven to 150C and line the loaf tin with baking parchment.
3. Now get the bowl with the soaked fruit in it and give the fruit a little mix. Add the eggs, sugar and spice and give it all a good mix.
4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold this in making sure all the flour is well incorporated.
5. Using your spatula scrape the mixture out into the loaf tin and gently flatten the surface. Then into the oven for about an hour and a half or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the fruit loaf comes out clean.
6. Allow the loaf to cool a little in the tin before moving it to cool completely on a wire rack.