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Just in time for the holidays--Irish-style fruitcake recipe!

Technically, this is a tea brack (from the Irish 'breac' or 'speckled'), but it can be made in a variety of ways, all delicious. It's really easy, too.

First, brew a good, strong cup of tea (I like Irish Breakfast tea, but any variety you like). You can also make this half tea, half whiskey or rum. Whichever, into the one cup of liquid dissolve 3/4 of a cup of firmly packed brown sugar. Soak 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of raisins in the sugar-tea mix overnight. I use a mix of regular and golden raisins, but fruitcake mix is also good for the holidays. (You can just soak it for a few hours--let the fruit get the flavor and plump up)

When you are ready to bake it, add
1 and 1/3 cup of flour
1 slightly beaten egg
1 level teaspoon baking powder
and (optional) 1 teaspoon mixed spice (I use pumpkin pie spice)

Pour batter into a greased 8x4 loaf pan and bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. If you want a glaze, brush the top with honey when the loaf is cool. Wrap loosely. Serve slices with a bit of butter. Enjoy!

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