Mary Berry's Orange Tea Bread 10.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

May 8, 2019

This is a simple fruit-studded tea bread with a tender crumb and lovely orange flavor. Everything comes together in a single bowl with a few quick stirs. Not only is the tea a starring ingredient, you can't go wrong with a thick slice, eaten plain or with a bit of butter or marmalade, served alongside a cuppa.

Mary Berry's recipe is beautiful as written, but feel free to use it as a template, swapping in your choice of tea, dried fruit and citrus zest.

You'll need an 8-inch round cake pan for this recipe. We also tested it in a 9-inch pan; the bread will bake faster (start checking at about 45 minutes) and its texture might be a bit drier than the 8-inch bread.

Make Ahead: The fruit, sugar and orange zest need to soak overnight in the tea. The texture of the bread is best the day it is made, but leftovers hold up well for a few days at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. (Pop a slice in the microwave for about 10 seconds for more of that just-baked texture and warmth.)


Servings:
10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings; makes one 8-inch round loaf

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (150 grams) dried currants
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) seedless golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) diced candied orange peel (may substitute additional golden raisins)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 navel oranges (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/4 cups hot black tea (brewed)
  • 2 cups (283 grams) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

Combine the currants, golden raisins, candied orange peel, brown sugar and orange zest in a mixing bowl, then pour in the hot tea. Stir well, and cover with a plate to keep the heat in. Let the mixture stand (macerate) overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add the flour, baking powder and egg to the soaked fruit mixture, stirring to form a very thick batter.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smooth the top and bake (middle rack) for about an hour, or until the tea bread is nicely browned and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. A skewer or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

Invert the bread onto a wire rack so you can discard its parchment paper, then turn it right side up on the rack. Cool until barely warm, or room temperature, before cutting into wedges for serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes," by Mary Berry (Quercus, 2019).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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