BAKE A SIMNEL CAKE

Country Living (UK) - - A Mount In The Country -

Part of Easter cel­e­bra­tions since the me­dieval pe­riod, this light fruit cake was orig­i­nally served on the mid­dle Sun­day in Lent, known as Laetare Sun­day, when Len­ten re­stric­tions were tem­po­rar­ily relaxed, but has now be­come syn­ony­mous with Easter week­end. Al­though the dec­o­ra­tion of 11 marzi­pan balls (rep­re­sent­ing the 12 apos­tles minus Ju­das) ap­pears to be a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion, it ac­tu­ally gained pop­u­lar­ity in the 1970s, be­fore which the Vic­to­rian prac­tice of us­ing pre­served fruits and flow­ers was more com­mon.

His­tor­i­cally, dif­fer­ent towns have de­vel­oped their own shapes and recipes, with Bury in Lan­cashire, De­vises in Wilt­shire and Shrews­bury in Shrop­shire all pro­duc­ing par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar vari­a­tions.

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