About this recipe:Reminiscent of afternoon tea with granny, what seems like a lifetime ago, fruity tea loaf thickly sliced and slathered with salty butter. Perfect picnic food. I came up with this recipe when I found some dried up figs and prunes at the back of a cupboard, and rather than waste them I adapted a basic tea loaf recipe. The tiny crunchy fig seeds add some pleasant contrast to the chewy loaf.
Put the teabags into a mixing bowl, pour over the boiling water, leave for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, stir in the sugar and syrup, add the chopped fruit, cover the bowl and leave to soak overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
After soaking, add the beaten egg to the cold tea and fruit mix. Sieve together the dry ingredients. Start by adding 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture to the tea mix, then slowly stir the rest. Stir the thick mix to combine.
Lightly butter and sprinkle with flour a 1 kg / 2 lb loaf tin or a 20x20cm square cake tin. Spoon the mix into the tin, even it out.
Bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes, then turn down to 150 C / Gas 2 and continue baking for another 30 minutes. It's fully baked when a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the loaf. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
When totally cool wrap in greaseproof paper then put into a tin (or also wrap in foil) and leave for some days to improve.
This loaf improves with keeping.
Plain, self raising and wholemeal flour should all work well in this recipe; try experimenting to find a texture and flavour that you find the tastiest.
I find ml more useful than grams and it means you don't need to have scales. This recipe shows both ml and g measurements for the flour.
For some reason my original measurement of 350ml of flour has been changed to 350g, which is quite wrong. This would result in a dry, heavy loaf. If you need the measurement in grams, 350ml of flour is 210g. - 07 Feb 2016