Friday 9 May 2014

Picnic Fruit Tea Loaf

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Picnic Fruit Tea Loaf
Ah, the Great British Bank Holiday – pouring rain, motorway tailbacks and soggy sandwiches. Hang on, though, it wasn't like that. The sun shone for three days, the only cars about were from the motor festival and we had a smashing picnic.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre from the River Avon
One essential item in any picnic (well mine anyway) is of course cake. The tricky thing with any picnic food is its need to be transported and lasting until feeding time commences. For some years now I have been making a Fruit Tea Loaf which has been eaten on the beach at Bamburgh and overlooking the Needles on the Isle of Wight. I decided a weekend in Stratford upon Avon shouldn't pose it a problem.
Shakespeare's birthplace
If you say you can't bake cakes then this is the cake for you to make. There's no sifting, creaming, whisking or folding in. The dried fruit make it solid so no worries about it sinking. By soaking the dried fruit in tea beforehand means the fruit is plumped up and remains moist. It even gets better with age and will easily last a week's holiday (if you can resist it that long!) All you've got to remember is that you need to soak the fruit first so do it overnight or first thing in the morning.
The knot garden at Nash's House & New Place
Whilst I was doing my shopping I had a little help from Morrisons. Their new 'I'm Cheaper' prices have certainly helped fill my trolley this week. I don't normally do a weekly or one big shop (a legacy of my student days) so doing so much shopping in one go was a bit of shock to the system. More often than not I usually go round with just a basket; I am the original 1950s housewife at times. However, this time I bought so much that I couldn't fit it all into the photo!
A bumper Bank Holiday shop
Whilst going around Morrisons it's not hard to spot the 'I'm Cheaper' deals. Some of them are just cut by a few pennies but others are up to a third off. It's not just Morrisons' own brand items either with products such as 8 cans of Diet Coke Caffeine Free dropping from £4.00 to £2.64. Of course there are the usual offers in store as well. Mr JibberJabber was very pleased with my purchase of a bottle of Pinot Grigio for £4.49 – half price at the moment.
Cheaper prices, British produce and perfect picnic fare
I was particularly impressed with the amount of British produce in the store. British strawberries are now in store along with that other seasonal treat of the golden nuggets that are Jersey Royal Potatoes. Even in the cooked meats there was a fine selection of all things British and Mr JibberJabber has happily been chomping his way through a pack of Pastrami this week. The White Stilton and Orkney Mature Cheddar also go perfectly with the Picnic Fruit Tea Loaf.
All things British
After I had put everything through the checkout I got another little bonus. By spending over £40 in one transaction I got a voucher for 6p off a litre of fuel. Perfect timing as the fuel indicator was showing just 32 miles in the tank and with a trip to Stratford beckoning plenty of diesel was required.
Even the library in Stratford is old
Despite my mammoth shop my eyes were still firmly on the cost. Sometimes it is surprising how things add when you need to buy certain ingredients for recipes. With this in mind I costed up price of making my Picnic Fruit Tea Loaf and it comes in at a very reasonable £1.57 for the whole cake. You can get at least 12 slices out of it so that works out at just 13p per slice.

If you don't believe me here's the maths:

375g Savers Dried Mixed Fruit (0.95/500g) - £0.71
250g Tate & Lyle Demerara Sugar (2.25/1kg) - £0.56
Morrison Red Label Tea Bags (2.89/240) - £0.01
300g Savers Self raising flour (0.45/1.5kg) - £0.09
1 Morrisons Free Range Eggs Mixed Weight (3.00/15) - £0.20

Total £1.57

Equipment: 2lb (1kg) Loaf tin, lined


12oz (375g) Dried mixed fruit (including candid peel)
8oz (250g) Demerara sugar
½ pint (300ml) Hot tea
10oz (300g) Self raising flour
1 Free range egg


1. In a large bowl add the dried fruit and sugar. Pour over the hot tea and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Cover the bowl and leave to stand for at least 8 hours.
3. Line the loaf tine with parchment paper or a loaf tin liner.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2.
5. Give the fruit and tea mixture a stir to loosen up the fruit. Add the flour and combine well before adding the egg. Stir until everything is mixed together.
6. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top.
7. Bake for 1½ hours until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool in the tin.

I was sent vouchers for Morrisons as part of the BritMums #MorrisonsMum campaign. The words, opinions and photographs are my own.


  1. I am definitely going to try your recipe. Lovely places that you have visited with the cake. Thank you for the feedback on our Morrisons experience. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

    1. Thank you to BritMums and Morrisons for the opportunity. I hope you enjoy the cake. Travel well with it!

  2. This looks so yummy, I am definitely going to try out this recipe! I love coming across different recipes, and baking different things instead of the standard cupcakes and scones.. This recipe is perfect, and I shall be bookmarking the page and making it at the weekend! Great post :) x

    Rachael |

    1. Thanks for reading the blog and I'm glad you have found something different. I hope your cake baking goes well.


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!