Treat for teatime

This firm fruity loaf is an ideal mid-af­ter­noon in­dul­gence, to­gether with a cup of tea

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Speck­led bread Makes 10 slices

300ml boil­ing wa­ter 2 teabags 500g mixed dried fruit 2 rounded tbsp light mus­co­v­ado su­gar 4 tbsp fine-cut or­ange mar­malade 2 rounded tsp mixed spice 250g white self-rais­ing flour 200g whole­meal self-rais­ing flour but­ter, to serve Pour the boil­ing wa­ter over the teabags and leave to in­fuse for at least 5 mins. Pour the tea into a large mix­ing bowl. Add the fruit, stir well and leave overnight for the fruit to plump up and ab­sorb the tea. Pre­heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and put a strip of bak­ing pa­per along the base so that it comes up over the ends. Us­ing a wooden spoon, beat the su­gar, 2 tbsp of the mar­malade and the spice into the soaked fruit. Mix in the flours to make a firm, sticky dough. Add a lit­tle wa­ter if the mix­ture is too dry. Spoon into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1¼ hrs un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too much, cover loosely with bak­ing pa­per or foil. Take the loaf out of the oven and spread the re­main­ing 2 tbsp of mar­malade over the top so that it melts to make a sticky glaze. Leave to cool in the tin. To serve, cut into gen­er­ous slices and spread with but­ter. The loaf will keep well for a week if wrapped in grease­proof pa­per or cling film and foil.

Al­ter­na­tives

Re­place some of the mixed dried fruit with dried cran­ber­ries, dried black cher­ries or dried blue­ber­ries. In­stead of mar­malade, use apri­cot jam or glaze the top with honey.

Recipe from

Cook it Slowly! Dairy Cook­book £8.75, avail­able from www.dairy­di­ary.co.uk

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