The name means ’speckled bread’ as this is a moist, slightly spicy tea bread speckled with dried fruit. The rich flavour comes from soaking the fruit overnight in strong tea (if you like spiced tea bags you can use one here) plus a little ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Serve thickly sliced and spread with butter at tea time - the flavour deepens if wrapped and left for a day before slicing.
Put the dried fruit and sugar into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Pour over the hot tea and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean dry teatowel and leave to soak for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
When ready to bake heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
Add the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and beaten egg to the soaked fruit and stir well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the flour then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Bake in the heated oven for about an hour until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Stand the tin on a wire cooling rack and leave for about 15 minutes to firm up before turning out. Leave to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 medium loaf
250g mixed dried fruit
100g dark brown muscovado sugar
225ml strong hot tea
A good pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 large free-range egg, beaten
250g Marriage’s Organic Self Raising Light Brown Flour
A 450g loaf tin (about 19 x13 x7 cm) greased and lined with a long strip of greaseproof paper to cover the base and two short sides.