Start making this loaf cake the day before you're baking. It gives the fruit time to absorb the tea which keeps the cake deliciously moist.
- 150g (5oz) dried mixed fruit
- 150ml (¼ pint) hot, strong black tea
- 200g (7oz) gluten-free self-raising flour
- 100g (3½oz) light soft brown sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 level tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 large egg
- 2tbsp sunflower oil
- Butter, to serve
- 500g (1lb) loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment
- Place the fruit in a bowl and pour the hot tea over. Cover the bowl and leave the mixture overnight for the fruit to absorb some of the tea and for it to plump up.
- Set the oven to gas mark 3 or 160°C.
- Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar, orange zest and mixed spice.
- Add the egg and sunflower oil to the fruit mixture, and tip this into the dry ingredients. Stir well to mix the ingredients to a soft-dropping consistency.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Place the tin in the centre of the oven. Bake the cake for about 1 hr, or until it has risen and feels just firm to the touch in the centre.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 10 mins. Turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve the cake sliced and spread with butter. If you want to freeze it,wrap the cold cake in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to 1 month. Allow the cake to defrost completely before serving.