500 g strong white bread flour plus extra for kneading
140 g lard, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp dried fast-action yeast
200 ml warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
140 g currants
50 g sultanas
50 g dried apricots, finely diced
50 g dried cherries, chopped
200 ml hot tea
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50 g golden caster sugar, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp icing sugar
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour with 2 tsp salt, then rub in 50g of the lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Leave the remaining lard at room temperature to soften.
- In a jug, mix the yeast, milk and eggs together, then add it to the flour, holding back a little liquid. Mix until it forms a soft dough, adding a splash more liquid if it feels too dry, or a little flour if too wet. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 mins, then put it back in the cleaned mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hr.
- Mix the dried fruit in a bowl and pour over the hot tea. Leave to soak for at least 45 mins. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with a little lard, line with baking parchment and grease the parchment with lard too.
- Drain off any excess tea from the fruit, then mix with the remaining lard, the mixed spice and sugar. Roll the dough out to a 40 × 20cm rectangle. Spread half the dried fruit and lard mixture over the surface. With the shorter end facing you, fold the top third of the dough down in to the middle, then fold the bottom third up to overlap, sealing in the fruit. Give the dough a quarter turn, roll it out to around the same size as before and spread the dough with the rest of the lard mixture. Fold as before, then turn the dough over.
- Put the dough into your prepared tin and press it down gently to shape it to fit the tin. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for 30 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan.
- Uncover and bake for 55 mins-1 hr or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack. Mix the icing sugar with 1 tsp water to make a runny icing, then drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with more caster sugar. Best served warm with a cup of tea.