This recipe is dedicated to my great-great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Irwin, from Northern Ireland from where this raisin-filled quick loaf, Tea Brack, originates.
⅔ cup golden raisins (sultana raisins)
⅔ cup dried currants
1¼ cups strong, freshly brewed black tea
Grated rind from 1 orange
3 tbsp orange juice
1 large egg
¾ cup brown sugar, not packed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Rinse the dried fruit with cold water. Drain well then place in a heat-safe bowl. Add hot tea, orange rind and orange juice. Cover the bowl with a plate and let sit for 2 or 3 hours (or even overnight).
Oil a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325°F.
Mix egg and brown sugar into fruit/tea mixture and stir.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir minimally until not quite combined.
Pour batter into pan and level top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool 20 minutes and remove from the pan. Cool before slicing.
Note: For the dried fruits, you can use 2 cups of one type of raisin instead of the three (I just learned that dried currants are a type of raisin and do not come from a currant bush).