Soft in the centre and crunchy on the outside, this moist tea loaf is delicious served warm and spread with butter.
Sponsored post: I received these sultanas to review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
I recently received a packet of Crazy Jack Organic sultanas to review. They were so delicious and juicy, my kids and I finished the entire packet! Craving more, and pleased to know that they are organic, free from artificial additives and sulfite-free, I rushed out to pick up a few more packets.
The difference between raisins and sultanas
Both raisins and sultanas come from the same white grape, the Thompson seedless (US), also known as Kishmish (India), Lady de Coverly (UK) or İzmir üzümü (Turkey).
While raisins are left to dry naturally, turning a dark colour with an intense sweet flavour, sultanas are generally dried faster using a processing agent.
Sultanas have a golden colour and are milder and less sweet than raisins.
Crazy Jack Organic Sultanas
These ripe and juicy sultanas are not too sweet, so they are delicious as a snack on their own or in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Crazy Jack’s sultanas are grown organically on the fertile plains of Izmir, Turkey, without artificial fertilizers, growth hormones or pesticides. Farmers tend to the grapes by hand, laying them out over the plains to dry naturally in the hot sun. They are then dried using an organic solution of vegetable oil to speed up the drying process, so they turn golden with a mild flavour.
What is a tea loaf
A tea loaf is a traditional English cake made with spices and dried fruit, which has been soaked in strong tea or juice before baking.
Why it works
This tea loaf recipe is perfect for my (now) abundant stash of sultanas, and I have used one of my favourite spices – cardamom.
The dried fruit plumps up as much of the tea is absorbed, keeping the loaf moist.
How to make it
- Soak the sultanas in tea. It is better (if you have time) to soak the sultanas in tea overnight – if not, a few hours of soaking will suffice. I used Earl Grey teabags, but you could use any tea of your choice.
- For the cardamom flavour, I find it simpler to heat the milk with the crushed pods and seeds. This gives a lovely cardamom flavour and is so much easier than trying to grind the hard seeds! Make sure the milk cools down to room temperature before mixing in with the wet ingredients.
- Cream together the butter and sugar, and add the eggs, vanilla and milk.
- Mix this into the flour and salt and combine well. The loaf mixture might appear thick, but the sultanas will have absorbed enough liquid to keep the loaf moist.
- Line a loaf tin with parchment paper leaving the ends to hang over the edges.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake at 350℉/180℃ for 45 minutes.
How to serve tea loaf
Cut into thick slices and serve for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea.
For that wonderful ‘just baked’ taste and aroma, slice and lightly toast before spreading with whipped butter.
Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry place.
For easy snacks, consider making a second loaf, cut into slices, wrap and freeze!
Other ways to use sultanas
Over the next few days, I experimented with these sultanas in the kitchen with this Roasted Beet Salad, sprinkled on cereal, in a bircher muesli, and in Afghani rice.
Where to buy Crazy Jack sultanas
You can find them at Sainsbury’s and online on Ocado.
⭐️ Are you making this recipe? Do let me know how it turned out in the comments! And please give it a star rating below!
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Cardamom & Sultana Tea Loaf
- 1 cup sultanas
- 2 teabags Earl Grey tea or Assam/breakfast tea, etc
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cardamoms pods smashed
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Pour the hot water into a medium bowl and add the teabags. Remove the teabags after 5 minutes and pour in the sultanas, ensuring they are submerged in the tea. Cover and leave on the counter overnight or for a couple of hours. Drain (without squeezing) before using.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk and smashed cardamoms. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Allow to cool and strain out the seeds/pods before using.
- Heat oven to 180°C/350°F. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt.
- Separately, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
- To this, add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine well.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edges so you can remove the loaf easily.
- Pour the mixture in and bake for 45 mins, or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin.
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