Blackcurrant Tea-Bread

Tart blackcurrant makes a wonderful summer tea-bread that is fruity but not too sweet, while mint adds a fresh herbal note to it. If you can have a glut of blackcurrants, make few loaves from it and freeze for up to 2 months.

Ready in: 1hr 35min (Prep: 20min, Cook: 1hr15min) 

Serves: 12 

Ingredients

  • Self-rising flour – 340 g (12 oz)
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter (cut into small pieces) – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Light muscovado sugar – 100 g (3½ oz)
  • Fresh blackcurrants – 150 g (5½ oz)
  • Chopped fresh mint – 3 tablespoon
  • Orange juice – 150 ml (5 fl oz) , or as needed


Method (How to prepare)

  1. Preheat your oven to a temperature of 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Grease and line a 900 gram (2 lb) loaf tin.
  2. Sift the baking powder and flour into a bowl. 
  3. Then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. 
  4. Stir in the sugar very well, to make a well in the center.
  5. Now put the blackcurrants and mint into the well in the ingredients, and pour in the orange juice. 
  6. Gradually stir the ingredients into the liquid. Do this very well until everything is thoroughly mixed. 
  7. The mixture formed should be soft. Therefore, add 1–2 tablespoon more orange juice to soften it, if necessary.
  8. Pour the soft mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. 
  9. Bake for about 1  hour 15 minutes, or until it is risen, brown and firm to touch. NB: If the loaf seems to brown too much after about 50 minutes, pick a piece of foil and place it loosely over the top.
  10. Allow the tea-bread to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

TIP:

  • The tea-bread is best left overnight before being served. It can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 3 days, and nothing will happen to it.
  • You can make blueberry tea-bread by using fresh blueberries in place of the blackcurrants. 
  • Also, for cranberry pecan tea-bread, use roughly chopped but fresh cranberries in place of the blackcurrants. 
  • You can as well replace the mint with ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon. Sift it with the flour, and stir in 100 g (3½ oz) of pecan nuts with the sugar.

Supplements

Blackcurrant is an excellent source of vitamin C, as it contains 4 times as much vitamin C as orange.
Also, it provides good amounts of potassium, and is rich in a group of phytochemicals known as bioflavonoids.

Bioflavonoids may help to protect against heart disease. The mint contains some characteristic flavor oils such as, menthol, menthyl acetate and menthone, which are believed to possess powerful antiseptic properties. Naturopaths prescribe mint to help to relieve stress headaches, toothache, and digestive problems.

Each serving provides good source of vitamin C, useful amount of potassium and vitamin B1.

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