Grandma's Christmas Cake

This has been Christmas Cake week. My recipe is inherited from my darling Granny, and really does take about a week from beginning to end. I have been baking this cake for around twelve years now, ever since we have been having Christmas at home as a family, and not sponging off relatives – it marks the official beginning of the Christmas season for us. First there is the trip to the wholefood store for dried fruit, then a night for the fruit to soak. Next, a morning of measuring, sifting and mixing. Everyone gets to stir the mixture and make a Christmas wish. Then baking for a whole afternoon. After that the cake sits on the kitchen table for three days under a tea towel, becoming more fragrant each day as we add more brandy, then finally it is lovingly wrapped and put to bed until Christmas Eve.

Grandma’s Christmas Cake

1lb currants
1lb sultanas
8oz chopped raisins
4oz glace cherries
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
4oz chopped peel
4 tblsp sherry

Place fruit, lemon juice and rind in a bowl. Pour over sherry and stand overnight. Stir once or twice.

Add peel next day.

10oz butter
10oz dark brown sugar
6-8 eggs
120z plain flour
½ tsp salt
2tsp mixed spice

Cream butter and sugar. Sift dry ings, add eggs one at a time and stir in fruit.
Line 24cmx24cmx7cm tin with greaseproof paper. Pour in mixture, then cover cake with more greaseproof paper.

Bake at 140 C 3 ½ hours, then remove paper and bake another ½ hour.
When cold, drizzle brandy over the top – just cover – repeat same for 2 more days, then remove from tin, wrap in greaseproof paper, then foil. Store in a dark place until Christmas Eve…when it is imperative to leave out a slice for Santa.


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