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Saffron Fruit Cake Recipe

Recipe for Saffron Fruit Cake

Ingredients: Makes two 450 g/1 lb cakes

2.5 ml/ teaspoon saffron strands

Warm water

15 g/ oz fresh yeast or 20 ml/4 teaspoons dried yeast

900 g/2 lb/8 cups plain (all-purpose) flour

225 g/8 oz/1 cup caster (superfine) sugar

2.5 ml/ teaspoon ground mixed (apple-pie) spice

A pinch of salt

100 g/4 oz/ cup lard (shortening)

100 g/4 oz/ cup butter or margarine

300 ml/ pt/1 cups warm milk

350 g/12 oz/2 cups dried mixed fruit (fruit cake mix)

50 g/2 oz chopped mixed (candied) peel


Chop the saffron strands and soak in 45 ml/3 tablespoons of warm water overnight. Mix the yeast with 30 ml/2 tablespoons of the flour, 5 ml/1 teaspoon of the sugar and 75 ml/5 tablespoons of warm water and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes until frothy.


Mix together the remaining flour and sugar with the spice and salt. Rub in the lard and butter or margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, the saffron and saffron liquid, the warm milk, fruit and mixed peel and mix to a soft dough. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 3 hours.


Shape into two loaves, place in two greased 450 g/1 lb loaf tins (pans) and bake in a preheated oven at 220C/450F/gas mark 7 for 40 minutes until well risen and golden brown.

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