The Simple Things
Delicious warm from the oven or served a few days old
Lincolnshire Whitsun cake
A traditional cake for Whitsun which is similar to an Eccles cake in flavour. It was apparently traditional to make it a few days before the day you wanted to eat it and to wrap it up, but it’s really good warm and fresh from the oven. This is adapted from Mary-Anne Boermans’ wonderful Great British Bakes.
Makes two 20cm cakes for the dough: 300ml milk
¼ tsp salt
625g strong white flour
2 x 7g sachets of fast action yeast
for the filling: 450g currants
450g soft light brown sugar 60g butter
1 egg yolk
2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 large egg white, for glazing Caster sugar, for glazing
1 Oil and line two 20cm loosebottomed cake tins. Meanwhile, heat the milk and 170g of butter in a pan until the butter melts, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Put the rest of the dough ingredients into a food processor and blitz until they look like breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, tip the butter and flour into a large bowl, rub the butter in with your fingers and then stir in the salt and yeast. Pour the cooled milk and butter mixture into the bowl and mix into a dough before tipping out onto a floured surface and kneading for 10 mins. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and leave it to rise somewhere warm for about 30 mins.
2 To make the filling, put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and warm gently, stirring until the butter has melted and the fruit is moistened, then set aside.
3 Tip out the dough and divide it in two, and then portion each half into four. Roll out each piece so that it fits the bottom of the cake tin, place it in, then spread one sixth of the filling mix on top. Repeat twice, topping with the final circle of dough, then repeat with the other cake tin. Set aside somewhere warm to rise for 30 mins. 4 Heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/ Gas 4. Bake the cakes for 30 mins, then remove from the oven, brush with the egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar before returning to the oven for a further 30 mins, or until browned on top. Leave to cool for 10 mins before taking out of the tin. Eat warm, or wrap and eat the next day.