Early Grey Tea Loaf
6 Earl Grey tea bags, divided
14 ounces dried fruit, such as raisins, golden raisins, cherries and/or cranberries
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
Put 4 tea bags in a measuring cup and add 11/4 cups boiling water. Let steep for a few minutes, then remove tea bags. Put the dried fruit into a large mixing bowl, grate over it the zest of the orange and pour over the hot tea. Cover and leave overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch (4-cup) loaf pan with parchment paper.
Add the beaten egg to the bowl of fruit along with 1cup sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and a few good gratings of nutmeg, and squeeze in the juice of the orange. Mix until a dough-like consistency (it might seem a bit dry).
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, put the 2 remaining tea bags into a pan with 3/4 cup water and the zest and juice of the lemon. Gently bring to a boil, removing the tea bags after a few minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil without stirring. Keep it on medium heat so that you have a steady boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half and you have a golden syrup. Pour this into a measuring cup.
As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, poke little holes in the top and pour the syrup over the loaf. Once the syrup has absorbed, turn loaf onto wire rack and cool. Makes 1 loaf, 12 slices.
Source: Adapted by the Modesto Bee from “Jaime Oliver’s Great Britain: 130 of My Favorite British Recipes, From Comfort Food to New Classics” (Hyperion, $35).
Per slice: 315 calories (3 percent from fat), 1 g fat (0.2g saturated, 0.2 g monounsaturated), 15.5 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 75 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g fiber, 54 mg sodium.