Nonna Leah’s boiled fruit cake

Nonna Leah’s boiled fruit cake

By
From
Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How it is at Home
Makes
1
Photographer
Patricia Niven

MRS: Loaded with dried fruit, which gives it a lovely colour and helps to keep it nice and moist, this cake is the bomb. My Mum has been baking this fruit cake at Christmas for as long as I can remember – in fact, when I was living overseas I insisted she send me the recipe so I could make it for Christmas myself. She duly did, faxing the page over to me (this was 2001) straight from her original recipe book, complete with measurements in pounds and ounces and handwritten notes and corrections.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60g unsalted butter
250ml milk
110g raw (demerara) sugar
500g mixed dried fruit (my mum uses mixed peel, glacé cherries, sultanas (golden raisins) and dates)
50g walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
250ml dry sherry
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 free-range eggs, beaten
300g plain wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour or plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 handful whole almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22 cm round cake tin with baking paper.

    Add the butter, milk, sugar, dried fruit, walnuts and spices to a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar as you go, then lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then add the sherry, bicarbonate of soda and beaten eggs and mix well. Fold in the flour and baking powder to form a batter.

    Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, arrange the almonds over the top and bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
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