The following ingredients are required:
- 6 ounces of butter
- 6 ounces of sugar
- 4 small eggs
- 1 heaped tablespoon of ground almonds
- 1 cup of sultanas
- 1 cup of currants
- 1 cup of chopped mixed peel
- 2 tablespoons of milk which has been boiled and cooked with 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 ounces of halved glacé cherries
- grated rind and the juice of half a lemon
- 1 level teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of brandy
- 1 ounce of blanched split almonds, and a pinch of salt.
Firstly the dried fruits have to be prepared, and this needs to be done several hours prior to making the cake, which makes it impossible for them to sink to the bottom, and brings out the flavour and juices.
You need to put the glacé cherries, sultanas, currants and peel into a casserole, and mix them thoroughly with the hands, cover with a lid or foil and put into a slow oven (220-240° F.) until it is well heated through, stirring it at least once with a fork, for about 20 minutes, or until it is sticky.
Take it out, and let it get completely cold before using. Rolling dried fruit in flour makes the cake hard, and washing has the same effect.
Next cream the butter well, work in the sugar, and when white and creamy add the eggs one at a time alternately with a good sprinkle of flour, beating well all the time.
Stir in the ground almonds, and add the dried fruits, peel and the lemon rind and juice, also a pinch of salt.
Mix the remaining flour with the baking powder, mix it into the mixture, and finally stir in the brandy or rum.
Turn into an 8-in. cake tin that has been greased and lined with greased paper.
Cover with foil and bake in a slow to moderate oven (300 degrees F.) for about 2&1/2 hours. Half-way through cooking time remove the paper and scatter the split almonds on top. Test with a skewer before removing from the oven, and 5 minutes before it is ready brush over the top with the sweetened milk, then put it back to give it a nice glaze when it is dry.
Finally and very importantly, do not remove from the tin until it is cold.