Monday, 18 January 2016

Cranberry & Pineapple Tea Loaf

I decided to try out a new tea loaf recipe today.  I so enjoyed the Bara Brith - Welsh Tea Loaf that I made last week that I wanted to do it again.  But this time I wanted a variant, that didn't include candied peel, since some people don't like that.  Mixed dried fruit, in the UK, always has candied peel included so I had to come up with a different mixture.  To do that I opted to stay with sultanas and raisins, but to reduce the amount of those so that I could include dried cranberries and then to include some soft dried pineapple diced quite finely.  

So I still ended up with 450g of dried fruit to soak in warm black tea with 250g of soft brown sugar.  That, I thought would give me the correct consistency for the tea loaf batter.

Soaking the fruit in the dark tea for a few hours allows it to plump up so that it is nice and juicy. So the baked tea loaf should be amply full of lovely soft fruit.

Also with Bara Brith the recipe calls for 2 tsp of mixed spice, but I wanted to maximise the chances of fully tasting the fruits so I only used 1tsp, just to give a hint of the spice flavour. 

This recipe makes one large loaf, enough to fill a 2lb loaf tin and rise up above the top.  Indeed just the flour and the fruit weigh just about 2lbs, so the egg and black tea take the weight to well over that.

Another thing to mention is that this recipe, as with Bara Brith, has no butter, oil or other fat in it, so it is quite a healthy option, apart from the sugar.

Having cut a slice and tasted it, both with and without butter I can only say that I think this is even better than the Bara Brith I made last week.  It is simply wonderful, the juicy fruit really comes through perfectly.  A slice or two for afternoon tea would go down very well indeed. Give this recipe a try, soon.
Cranberry & Pineapple Tea Loaf


Cranberry & Pineapple Tea Loaf - Video
Ingredients:
  • 300ml of warm black tea
  • 200g sultanas
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 100g raisins
  • 50g soft dried pineapple, diced finely
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1tsp mixed spice
Method:
  1. In a bowl place all the fruits and mix together.
  2. Add the sugar and stir in.
  3. Add the warm black tea and stir again.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to soak for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/325 F.
  6. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
  7. Mix the mixed spice into the flour.
  8. Unwrap the soaked fruits and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  9. Add the beaten egg and the flour mixture and stir in until fully combined, without over-mixing.
  10. Transfer the batter into the loaf tin and level it out, making sure you get right into the corners.
  11. Bake in the oven for 80-90 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the centre comes our clean. If the top looks to be baking too quickly, and burning any fruit poking through, place a sheet of aluminium foil lightly on the top to stop further browning.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes.
  13. Remove the loaf from the tin, taking off the baking parchments and place on a cooling rack to cook completely.


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