People ask me what I’ve been missing in lockdown and I have to say I mostly miss my family and friends. I also wish I could be out and about doing my baking talks, although it helps that I’m starting to do them via Zoom.
Meeting people in community groups has proved a great way to discover treasured family recipes. I came across Yorkshire Brack at a local gardening group, where I’d been doing a talk. On of the members there showed me a photo of this delectable tea bread he’d been baking. He said that after his wife had sadly died a couple of years previously, he’d started baking in her memory, as she was such a great cook.
He had picked up her old recipe book and was working his way through it. This was his favourite recipe. I’ve amended the original recipe slightly by reducing the amount of sugar, since the sweetness from the dried fruit is already considerable. I’ve also added a little lemon juice to the mixture.
150 ml/¼ pint hot tea (preferably Yorkshire Tea)
50g/2oz mixed peel
75g/3oz demerara sugar
225g/8oz self-raising flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
How to bake
Mix together the dried fruit and sugar and soak in the hot tea. Cover and leave overnight so the fruit becomes plump. Add the egg to the mixture and stir well. Fold in the flour. Line a ½ kg/1lb loaf tin. Put the mixture into the tin and bake in a preheated oven for about 1½ to 1¾ hours (160C, 325F, Mark 3).
This tea loaf does taste best when the fruit is soaked in Yorkshire Tea, but you can also get some lovely flavours with Assam or Earl Grey teas. There’s no fat in it and it keeps well for a few days. Serve with lashings of butter and, of course, a mug of Yorkshire Tea.
We’re very proud of our Yorkshire Heritage, especially where baking is concerned and I’ll be passing on more baking gems especially as it’s Yorkshire Day coming up next month.
You can read more about Grandma Abson’s life, her passion for baking and recipes HERE. Or head over to @potsaway on Instagram to check out how Meryl and Patrick are still cooking together apart in #lockdown.