Recipe from Poires au Chocolat
Apricot Fig Tea Loaf
125g dried apricots
125g dried figs
½ vanilla pod
200ml Earl Grey tea
150g pecan halves
100g light brown sugar
225g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1. Place the apricots, figs and sultanas into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pods, scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the pan. Stew the tea until it takes on a deep amber colour. Pour the tea over the fruit and cook over a low heat, covered, for an hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Line a 9x5 inch loaf tin with baking paper or lightly greased foil.
3. Toast the pecan halves in the oven for about 5 minutes. Chop the pecans into small chunks and set aside.
4. Drain the fruit, reserving about 50ml of liquid. Top up the liquid to 80ml with water and return to the pan. Add the sugar and salt and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
5. Chop the apricots and figs into small chunks and stir into the sugar syrup. Beat the egg and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder and mix in. Add the milk and mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean (a piece of foil or greaseproof paper may need to be used to cover the top of the loaf to stop it browning too much).