This tea loaf is perfect for this time of year. Simple to make, it is ideal for adding a little touch of luxury to any packed lunch. Or better still, serve it with a cup of tea while sitting in the garden listening to the birds sing.
115g dried cranberries
115g dried apricots, diced
50g crystallised ginger, chopped
3 tbsp apricot brandy
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
175g soft margarine
1. Place the cranberries, apricots, ginger and apricot brandy in a bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large mixing bowl.
3. Stir in the margarine, sugar and eggs. Beat well with a wooden spoon for 1 minute then stir in the fruit mixture.
4. Place the mixture into a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, greased and lined. Smooth the top of the mixture.
5. Bake in the oven; electric 160C, fan 140C, gas mark 4, for 1 hours until evenly risen and golden, and when a skewer is inserted into the loaf it comes out clean.
6. Leave to stand in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack to cool. When cold store in an airtight tin.