Makes 12 slices
150ml/¼ pint/scant ⅔ cup hot Earl Grey tea
175g/6oz/1 cup sultanas (seedless white raisins)
175g/6oz/1 cup mixed ready-to-eat dried apricots and prunes, roughly chopped
a little vegetable oil
125g/4oz/½ cup dark brown sugar
2 medium (US large) eggs
225g/8oz/2¼ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground mixed spice
butter to serve
1 Pour the hot tea into a bowl and add the sultanas, apricots and prunes. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
2 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Oil a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line the base with parchment paper.
3 Beat the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and the soaked fruit in the soaking liquid, then mix together well. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
4 Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes–1 hour. Set aside to cool in the tin. Serve sliced and buttered.