Tart black currants make an enticing tea bread that is fruity without being too sweet, while mint adds a fresh, herbal note. Orange juice is used to enhance the flavour of the bread and decrease the amount of sugar needed in the recipe. If you have extra black currants, make a few loaves of bread and freeze them for up to 2 months.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 9 x 5-in. (2 L) loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then cut in the margarine with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Place the black currants and mint in the well and pour in the orange juice. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the liquid until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until loaf is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour. If the loaf looks as though it is browning too much after about 45 minutes, place a piece of foil loosely over the top.
Allow the tea bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The tea bread is best left overnight before serving, and can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Each serving (one slice) provides: calories 135, calories from fat 9, fat 1 g, saturated fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg, carbohydrate 28 g, fibre 2 g, sugars 7 g, protein 3 g. Choices per serving: Carbohydrate 2