This is my grandmother's recipe which I have adapted slightly - my Mum also makes this regularly! There is no fat, butter or oil in this lovely, moist Tea Bread, making it a treat that can be enjoyed on a regular basis. Feel free to use your favourite tea, I often make this with Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong. Also make sure that the fruit soaks for at least 12 hours - that's what plumps up the fruit and keeps this Tea Bread so moist. I have never felt the need to add spices, the taste of the tea and the fruit is tasty enough. This makes two loaves - they keep well in a tin or can be frozen with great success.
- You will need two 1 lb (450 g) loaf tins (6 x 4 x 2 1/2 inches), the bases lined with greaseproof paper (parchment).
- The evening before you want to bake these loaves, place all the fruits, including the candied peel, in a bowl, then dissolve the sugar in the hot tea, pour this over the fruits, cover the bowl and leave it overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F/170°C.
- Beat the egg and add the milk.
- Add the beaten egg & milk mixture to the bowl containing the fruits. Then sift in the flour, and mix them together well.
- Now divide the mixture between the prepared loaf tins and bake them in the centre of the oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until they feel springy in the centre.
- Then straight away, loosen them with a palette knife and turn them out on to a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight tin or cover with extra greaseproof paper and freeze. (For up to 3 months).
- These are great sliced, toasted and served with butter as a tea-time snack.