200g mixed dried fruits, any larger pieces chopped (we used raisins, sultanas, dried cherries and apricots)
200ml hot Earl Grey tea, made from 2 tea bags
250ml whole milk
75g butter, cubed, plus extra to serve
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1½tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 large egg, beaten
apricot jam, to glaze
Put the fruit and zest in a bowl and cover with the hot tea. Leave to steep overnight.
Heat the milk in a small pan until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the butter, swirling the pan to help the butter melt and cool the milk. Leave to cool to hand temperature. Tip the flour, mixed spice, sugar, yeast and ½ tsp salt into a large bowl. Pour in the warm milk mixture, the egg and 1 tbsp of the tea from the soaked fruit. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine, then tip onto your surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the mixture is too sticky. Place in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with cling film, then leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hrs until doubled in size.
Flour 2 large flat baking trays, knock all the air out of your dough and add the soaked fruit (drain the fruit first if you have any liquid left in the bowl). Knead the fruit into the dough until well distributed - you may need to add a little extra flour if the fruit makes the dough too sticky. Break into 6 pieces and shape into balls. Place on the floured baking trays, well spaced apart, and squash each down lightly with the palm of your hand. Cover loosely with oiled cling film, then leave to prove for 30 mins-1 hr, until doubled in size.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Uncover the teacakes and bake for 25 mins, swapping the trays over halfway hrough cooking, until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped on the base. Brush each one with a little apricot jam and return to the oven for a further 1-2 mins. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm from the oven or split and toasted, topped with lashings of butter. Will keep in a tin for up to 4 days.