EADT Suffolk - - Xxxxxx -

Prepa­ra­tion time: 1 hour plus overnight soak­ing

Cook­ing time: 2 hours 30 min­utes–3 hours

Com­bine the dried fruit, peel, cher­ries, al­monds, sherry and brandy in a large bowl. Stir, cover and leave overnight.

The next day, add the le­mon zest to the fruit and stir well. Pre­heat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1. Line a bak­ing tray with a dou­ble layer of foil. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Se­cure a sheet of news­pa­per around the out­side of the tin with a pa­per­clip. spices and flour and fold them into the mix­ture un­til just com­bined. Add the fruit and stir to dis­trib­ute it evenly through the bat­ter, then trans­fer the bat­ter to the tin. Make a shal­low de­pres­sion in the mid­dle.

Place the tin on the bak­ing tray and cover se­curely with a sheet of foil. Bake in the cen­tre of the oven for two-and-a-half hours, turn­ing every 30 min­utes. Check whether the cake is cooked by in­sert­ing a skewer into the mid­dle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture to 130°C/gas mark 0.5 and retest af­ter 30 min­utes.

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