​Tea loaf

Delicious served on its own or with a lick of butter.
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Serves 8-10


* 375g (13oz) mixed dried fruit and peel
* 250ml (8½fl oz) strained, cold tea (strong, no milk or sugar)
* butter, for greasing
* 150g (5½oz) soft brown sugar or muscovado sugar (dark or light)
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 250g (9oz) plain flour
* 1 heaped tsp baking powder
* a pinch of mixed spice, grated nutmeg or ground cloves (optional)
* finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Begin the night before with soaking the fruit. Put the dried fruit and cold tea in a mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.

2. Next day, when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 160°C/310°F/gas mark 3, and grease and line a 22 x 11 x 7cm (8½ x 4¼ x 2¾in) loaf tin.

3. Add the sugar and egg to the soaked fruit and mix well with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spice (if using), and mix well until thoroughly combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1–1¼ hours until a metal skewer or sharp knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before turning out of the tin. Serve in slices with or without butter, whichever you prefer.

More from Book of tea:

The Book of Tea: Growing it, making it, drinking it, the history, recipes and lots more by Nick Kilby and Louise Cheadle is published by Jacqui Small, £20. 

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