Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday:

Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

It’s Sunday, a day of baking and relaxing by the fire, well it IS a cold spring day! And, I have been washing some of my “food photography props” that I have arranged on an old dresser, as they get so dusty with a log fire going nearly 24 hours a day. As I washed them (by hand) I thought that it would be nice to feature certain pieces alongside my Sunday recipe of Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf, which, is a real “Sepia Sunday” recipe, as it is about 100 years old. I do post a popular “Sepia Saturday” series, where I bake something from my large collection of “Be-Ro” cookbooks, but, it’s not Saturday and this recipe is not from one of the little Be-Ro cookbooks! I cannot think of a nicer recipe to share with all my readers this Sunday than this easy, and old-fashioned spiced fruit loaf. The recipe was given to my grandmother, when she lived in rural Northumberland, by a local farmer’s wife, and it has been in the family ever since.

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

This is a real vintage post in all respects, recipe and china; the blue and white china “trio” set that I have used and featured in my photos is “Booths Real Old Willow” and is one of my favourite sets. I say set, I don’t have the full tea set – I have two of the trio sets, which, is a teacup, saucer and cake plate; I also have a teapots, a toast rack, a cream jug and an egg cup (in the solo!), but, there is enough of it to enjoy for breakfast for the two of us – even if we have to share an egg cup! I love all blue and white china, and this particular Old Willow pattern is more refined than others, with pretty gilded gold edging on all of the pieces.

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

This is a low-fat tea loaf, made with a teacup of hot tea, which is very popular in fruited cakes and bread recipes; like an Irish Brack recipe. It has the zest from an orange added, some mixed spice and is studded with plump dried fruit and peel. Some “tea” loaf recipes that use hot tea have not fat content added, but this is all the better for the scant amount that is added (25g/1 oz) as it makes it moist, and it doesn’t go too dry the longer it is left. It is FABULOUS when served with a liberal amount of butter, and a piece of crumbly Wensleydale cheese, a classic combination.

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Booths Real Old Willow

I hope that you try the recipe, which I have posted below, and do let me know if you bake it. I made mine yesterday and as soon as it was cold I popped it into an airtight tin, as so often happens with these types of tea loaves, it gets better as it ages – if only I did too! Do adjust the fruit to your personal requirement, such as omitting the peel if you are not peel lovers, as well as leaving out the mixed spice – I think the recipe is perfect just the way it is, but, I love the fact that we can all make even the oldest recipes “our own”, and I often have a tinker and a tweak with recipes when I bake! Have a lovely (and warm) Sunday and I’ll see you tomorrow with a new 5:2 recipe and a weekly meal plan. Karen 

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf

Serves 12 slices
Prep time 24 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 9 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Bread, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentines day
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
An old family recipe that was given to my grandmother by the local farmer's wife in rural Northumberland; this delicious low-fat tea loaf is made with hot tea and Demerara sugar for an almost "toffee" like taste. It is studded with fruit and has a subtle orange flavour that is enhanced by the mixed spice. My mum has made this as a last-minute Christmas cake in the past, and it is always popular in the school or work lunch box, as well as for picnics in the summer.

Ingredients

  • 450g (1lb) mixed dried fruit with peel
  • 175g (6oz) Demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 large teacup of hot tea (or 150ml hot tea, of your choice)
  • 25g (1 oz) margarine, or butter (I used Stork margarine)
  • 1 large free-range egg (beaten)
  • 225g (8ozs) SR flour (sieved)

Note

An old family recipe that was given to my grandmother by the local farmer's wife in rural Northumberland; this delicious low-fat tea loaf is made with hot tea and Demerara sugar for an almost "toffee" like taste. It is studded with fruit and has a subtle orange flavour that is enhanced by the mixed spice. My mum has made this as a last-minute Christmas cake in the past, and it is always popular in the school or work lunch box, as well as for afternoon tea and picnics in the summer.

Directions

Step 1 Put the mixed fruit, sugar, spice and orange zest into mixing bowl, then pour over the hot tea - cover with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight, or for up to 8 hours.
Step 2 Next day, when you are ready to bake the loaf, grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and pre-heat oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Step 3 Melt the margarine (or butter) and add it to the soaked fruit and sugar mixture, mix well, before adding the beaten egg, and then the sieved flour.
Step 4 Mix well with a wooden spoon and then spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 1 and a half hours until firm, risen and golden brown.
Step 5 Allow to cool in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve sliced with butter, honey, jam or marmalade, and store for up to 1 week in an airtight tin. Also delicious when eaten warm.
Step 6 NB: Always use hot tea, as this makes the fruit plump up more.
Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse “Teacup” Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Vintage Blue and White on Sepia Sunday: Farmhouse "Teacup" Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Booths Real Old Willow Teacup

Comments

  1. says

    ahhh, memories of Sunday lunches at my Grandma’s followed by a slice of buttered tea loaf… gorgeous… beautiful photo’s too, love that wooden table… and the blue and white is so pretty… have a happy, warm Sunday sweetie xx

  2. says

    I’ll have to give this one a go. I think my colleague who gave me that Cup of Tea cake recipe would like it. Also, I like cakes like parkin that mature. It makes them easier to resist! Yours looks great on that tea set. It’s vintage, but the oriental style gives it a twist. Apt that it should involve tea in the recipe since the Chinese have arguably the best tea.

  3. Susan o says

    I have three Blue Willow platters that I hang on the wall. There not as nice as yours, but boy do I love them. The tea cake looks delicious.

  4. Heidi Lee says

    So miss my granny and her amazing cooking. All her recipes died with her. She use to have proper china, similar to this and we always drank tea (proper leaf tea, never bags) out of a proper cup and saucer made of bone china. She left her set of Victoria and Albert to me. She made the best cakes, included a tea loaf that looks similar to this one.

  5. Maria Turner says

    I love tea loaves and will try this recipe for the next one I bake :)

    Tweeted for you as @Maria__Turner

  6. C Parkin says

    Looks like a nice cake to make and take into work for my colleagues, we love a good piece of cake and a cup of tea at break time!

  7. Sheila Reeves says

    This loaf looks lovely and sounds similar to a loaf we used to have in our family, think ours was called Spiced Loaf – I must get hold of my Mums recipe book!

  8. Maureen Mac Mahon says

    Hi there, I only very recently came across your blog and gave this recipe a whirl today, It is Yummy! The only problem I have is that it will never make it to a tin to mature! Hubby and the kids are gobbling it up in double time! I can see this becoming a firm family favourite, thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderfull recipes.
    Maureen

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