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Garden Gatherings: Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Garden Gatherings

Ideas on what to serve family and friends now restrictions have lifted
(as published in Feast Magazine April 2021)

As the UK follows the road out of lockdown, I am overjoyed that I can finally welcome family and friends into my garden once again. What better way to show someone you’ve missed them than by offering up a delicious spread of sweet and savoury food whilst catching up on all that we may have missed over the past 4 months?

We’ve already talked about spring flavours, but I really do think that as we head towards summer, we should make the most of them whilst we can – and even better to do so whilst in the presence of some good company!

Of course, one route you could go down is afternoon tea; it’s always a favourite of mine, being a simple yet delicious way to while away a few hours with loved ones. I’ve spoken about how to perfect the at-home afternoon tea before, which you can find here.

Another option (if you’re feeling brave enough, that is – it’s still quite chilly!) is an early barbeque! We’ve seen some wonderful ways to use our selection of marmalades so far, including a Spiced Rum Marmalade Chicken using our Jamaican Spiced Rum Marmalade. I think these would translate perfectly as a mouth-watering savoury option for a barbeque get-together.

Our range of relishes also make an amazing addition to any burger or sausage roll – our trio pack allows you to try three of our tasty relishes.

If you feel like taking on a hands-on approach to your offering, then why not give my Earl Grey & Orange Tea Loaf recipe a go? Another enjoyable way to use marmalade.


Preparation time-10 minutes

Cooking time-1 hour 


3 Earl Grey tea bags
250g mixed dried fruit
60g dark brown muscovado sugar
275g plain flour
2 1/2 level teaspoons plain or wholemeal flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1tsp salt
3 oranges, 2 finely grate the zest of 2 and 1 kept for decorating
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
6 tbsp Debs marmalade
50g granulated sugar.


1. Lightly grease  and line a 900g loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Place the teabags in a medium-sized saucepan and pour over 300ml just-boiled water. Add the dried fruit and simmer gently for 2 minutes, then discard the teabags. Stir in the muscovado sugar, then transfer the mix to a large heatproof mixing bowl. Leave 10 minutes to cool slightly.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, salt and orange zest.

4. Stir in the eggs, followed by the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly then swirl through the marmalade at the end-do not mix in completely. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool for 15 minutes.

5. About 20 minutes before the end of baking time, pare the rind of the reserved orange and cut into very fine strips. Heat 25g of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan with the juice of the orange, bring to a simmer, add the strips of zest, leave to cool slightly and stir in the remaining 25g sugar.

6. Spoon the syrup over the cake while still warm and leave to cool. This cake is delicious served thinly sliced and spread with  salted butter!

Which options will you choose for your next garden gathering? Make sure to tag us in your get-togethers- we’d love to see what you get up to! 

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