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Delia's Very fruity Irish tea cake
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For the pre-soaking
50g chopped candied peel
50g demerara sugar
150ml hot tea, any kind (Lapsang, Earl Grey or any other)
For the cake:
50g pecan nuts
1 large egg
225g self-raising flour
1-2 tablespoons milk
See method for oven temperature
Equipment: A Silverwood loaf tin (or a standard 2lb loaf tin), lined with a 2lb traditional loaf tin liner
I always find it’s best to start this the night before.
All you do is place the fruits and peel in a bowl, then dissolve the sugar in the hot tea and pour this over the fruits. Then cover with a cloth and leave them to soak – as the fruits absorb the tea they become plump and juicy.
When you are ready to make the cake, pre-heat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3, then place the nuts on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven. Give them about 8 minutes to toast, but put a timer on because they burn very easily.
After they have cooled, roughly chop the nuts.
Now whisk the egg and add it to the fruits and after that sift in the flour, add the toasted nuts and give everything a thorough mixing. Then add a tablespoon of milk, and if the mixture still feels stiff, stir in another.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling off with the back of a tablespoon dipped in cold water.
Then place it on a lower shelf so that the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven, and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes until it feels springy in the centre.
When it comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.
Serve it cut in thick slices spread generously with butter and although it does keep well in an airtight tin in its liner, it’s also extremely good toasted.
This recipe was first published in August 2013.