Friday, 26 May 2017


“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” - Paul Theroux 

I love the cool, misty days of Autumn when afternoon sun comes out and shines warm, but quickly gives way to a rapidly falling night. Leaves turn yellow and fall, rain comes and goes, puddles shine like silver platters and soon, Winter shows up with cold, dark days when rain, sleet, snow and frost savour the season as if it were tossed in sea salt. Winter afternoons hanker for lots of fragrant, hot tea and a spicy, rich cake… Nothing like this wonderful fruit loaf, the recipe for which was given to us by a dear family friend, who unfortunately has passed away. She is remembered fondly.

Fruit Loaf for Afternoon Tea

150 g dried apricots
150 g pitted dates
100 g dried figs
100 g sultanas
100 g mixed candied peel
2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups Self-Raising Flour
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Butter or mascarpone cheese, to serve (optional) 

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 7cm deep, 10cm x 21cm (base) loaf pan with baking paper.
Combine dried fruit and juice in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Transfer fruit mixture to a bowl. Stir in honey, sugar and eggs. Sift flour and spices over fruit mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Stand for 10 minutes in pan. Turn onto a wire rack to cool. Serve slices at room temperature or toasted, spread with butter or mascarpone cheese if desired.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme.

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