In my experience, being from the Home Counties doesn't inspire a lot of loyalty. You'll often find people from even the most idyllic parts of our fair country decrying their hometown as, well, a bit shit. I think it's because there's not a lot to do when you're growing up in the commuter belt. London sucks everything inwards, and whilst most people I know will proudly declare they love for the big city, their own home doesn't get a lot of love.
The opposite appears to be true for Yorkshire-folk. The love and devotion that locals feel for their county is both very touching and a little baffling. It's also something I very much want to be a part of - even if I have started saying my vowels funny from living here so long. It's easy to see why Yorkshire inspires such loyalty - it's an absolutely glorious place to live. If we drive fifteen minutes one way, we end up in the city centre with all the fabulous metropolitan benefits that affords. If we drive fifteen minutes the other way, we're confronted with stunning views of rolling fields. There's nothing quite like Yorkshire countryside - it has a ruggedness about it that we just can't achieve in the South. It's also true what they say - people are friendlier up North. And they know how to throw one hell of a party. If you read this blog with any frequency, you'll also know that the food is pretty fantastic.
All of this to say that today is Yorkshire Day. Another example of that Yorkshire pride I've been talking about - I'm not sure there is a Kent Day. I feel more at home in Yorkshire than I ever have anywhere else, and I am excited to share in a little part of that pride - as far as I'm allowed as a born-and-bred Southerner. So I made a Yorkshire Tea Bread, adapted from Ruby Tandoh's version but with, what else, Yorkshire Tea. Serve with a cuppa and a big slab of butter smeared on top. Cheers, Yorkshire!
- 275g mixed dried fruit
- 300ml strong Yorkshire Tea (I used three teabags)
- 60g soft dark brown sugar
- zest of a lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 275g plain flour
- 2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- sprinkle of demerara sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a loaf tin.
2. Pop the fruit into a large saucepan and pour over the tea. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat, leaving to simmer for a couple of minutes.
3. Stir in the dark brown sugar and take off the heat.
4. Leave for 15-20 minutes before adding the lemon zest and eggs. Stir until combined.
5. In that time, sift together the dry ingredients (except the demerara sugar). Add to the saucepan once it's ready.
6. Stir gently until fully combined. Pour into the prepared loaf tin.
7. Sprinkle the sugar on top (it gives a lovely crispy top) and pop into the oven for 45-50 minutes.
8. Leave to cool and then cut into slices to enjoy with your cup of Yorkshire Tea!