In part one, I spoke about the introduction of tea both as a drink, and as a fashion in Britain. It wasn’t just a drink for the upper classes. Tea soon became a staple for the working classes too. But the light afternoon tea was not something that would satisfy the hard-workers at the end of the day. Around six, when workers would arrive home, they needed to refuel with something warm and hearty. This was high tea, named for the high, hard chairs the working classes used. High tea was more like an evening meal. It would often include a hot meal followed by cakes, bread, butter and jam.
This recipe is a traditional Welsh tea time recipe with a few additions. It’s very dense and moist with sweet fruit, tangy, bitter tamarind and earthy wholemeal flour.
600 ml black tea
200 g dried apricots, roughly halved
100 g dried figs, roughly halved
150 g raisins
1 tbsp tamarind paste
50 g caster sugar
400 g wholemeal self-raising flour
Mix the fruit in a large bowl and pour over the tea. Leave this to soak overnight
The next day, preheat your oven to 120 degrees C and line a 1lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Beat egg, sugar and tamarind in a bowl.
To this, add the fruit and flour and combine.
Add the tea and beat to a thick batter. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.