Thursday, 14 March 2019

King Arthurs’s American Fruit Cake

Not a medieval recipe from Camelot! King Arthur is one of the main flour brands in the US and this is their recipe as sent to me by a cousin over there. You will note it uses some different fruits and ingredients, but trust me, it is absolutely lovely. In fact I will go so far as to say, it is one of the best fruit cakes I have ever made! It IS that good. It keeps for between 6-8 weeks too, and is incredibly moist. The photo here was taken 6 days after baking. The original recipe was double the size and uses an ingredient that we don’t have here - dark corn syrup, so I have used golden syrup in its place.

The Fruit: 
Place in a medium, glass or plastic bowl….
4 oz dried pineapple
5 oz raisins
2 oz dried chopped apricots
4 oz chopped dates
3 oz glacé cherries, chopped
2 oz crystallised ginger
3 fl oz brandy or rum [or fruit juice]

Mix well. Place in your microwave for 1 minute or until hot, then stir again and cool.

Pre heat your fan oven to 130C, butter and line a 8” spring form tin or a large loaf tin.

4 oz softened butter
7 oz soft dark brown sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
7½ oz plain flour [King Arthurs!]
1 dessertspoon cocoa
1½ oz golden syrup
2 fl oz cranberry juice or apple juice
4 oz chopped toasted nuts - I used hazelnuts and walnuts

Prepare your ingredients. Chop the nuts. Mix the spices, cocoa, salt and flour and sieve together.

Cream the softened butter and sugar, Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the syrup and juice and fold in the flour mix. Finally add the fruits, any residual juices and the nuts. Tip into your prepared tin and level off.

Bake for approx 2 hrs. The cake is done when a fine knitting needle comes out clean Cool in the tin for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Now brush the warm cake with more brandy or rum. When cold wrap up and store at room temp for 6-8weeks OR leave for a few days and tuck in. I waited 4 days before I took the above photo, my husband chomping at the bit, waiting to get to it.

Note: If you are Cornish born and bred, you will probably have dozens [or more] cousins and rellies in the US, especially if they lived in the west of our County, as mine did. The siblings of great, or great great grandparents went over when the mines ran out, esp from the 1850s onwards. [or more or less greats]. I love genealogy and am a worldwide member of Ancestry so have found, visited and am in contact with dozens of them. Many come over to stay, when I show them around the home of their ancestors. Last summer my cousin Christine [from Long Island] and I sat in the kitchen, drinking tea, of a farm near Zennor built by my 7 x gg grandfather [one more for her] in 1599. Very special. What are you waiting for?

Friday, 8 March 2019

Pork and Bacon Loaf

I liked this idea as soon as I read about it in a WI book and could not wait to try it, although I have adjusted it. My husband is generally happy being a guinea pig as long as it is nothing fishy. We loved it and I served it with a herby cheesy sauce, veg and roasted baby potatoes. Left overs was equally good, cold the next day.

You will need a 1lb loaf tin [good non stick], well buttered. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

12 oz lean pork shoulder, chopped very finely
6 oz lean back bacon, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ a leek, finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried sage and a pinch of dried mixed herbs
1 small beaten egg
a little sea salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper.
4 oz fresh breadcrumbs from a good loaf, left to go stale
a small eating apple, peeled and finely chopped [with a little lemon juice to stop it going brown]
2 fl oz apple juice or cider
a level tablespoon grated parmesan

Mix the meats, crumbs, onion, leeks, seasonings and herbs etc and bind the whole with the egg and cider. Tip into your prepared tin, pressing it down evenly. It should come almost to the top. Cover the mix with a little foil and find something in your cupboard to act as a weight and leave for half an hour. Cover with some buttered foil.

Bake for 1½ hours, removing the foil 15 mins before the end. Leave in the tin for a short while to settle before inverting it onto a serving plate. You can pop this under a medium grill to lightly brown if you wish. Leave to rest for ten mins before slicing. Yum Yum.

1 oz butter
level tablespoon plain flour,
½ teaspoon dried mustard
½ pint milk [full cream if feeling indulgent]
grated mature cheddar
chopped parsley to taste

Melt the butter in a small pan, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste, add the mustard, then the milk, whisking the whole time until coming to the boil and nicely thickened. Stir in the cheese and finely chopped parsley