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Light Fruit Cake

8 oz yellow sultanas
8 oz glace cherries
4 oz crystallised pineapple
2 oz crystallised ginger
6 oz candied peel
2 oz angelica
4 oz walnuts
8 oz butter
8 oz castor sugar
8 oz plain flour
1 lemon; grated rind and juice
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons brandy

Prepare an 8-inch cake tin - one with a loose base is best. Butter
it and line it with two thicknesses of grease-proof paper brushed
with melted butter. Tie a band of brown paper that sticks up an
inch or so above the rim round the outside of the tin for extra
protection. Soak the sultanas in the brandy for several hours
before mixing the cake. Sift the flour with the salt. Quarter
the glace cherries, chop the pineapple, ginger, angelica, nuts and
candied peel - it really is worth while to use the citron peel that
you buy in large pieces clotted with sugar for this cake and to
chop it rather finely yourself - you'll need a very sharp knife.
Beat the eggs really hard till they're foamy and thick and have
increased in volume - this may take you 10 or 15 minutes, but it's
worth it to get a good textured cake. Cream the butter with the
lemon rind, and cream in the sugar well till fluffy and soft. Add
the beaten eggs, a little bit at a time, beating well after each
addition. (If the mixture shows any sign of curdling, quickly beat
in a little of the flour.) Stir in the flour very lightly, and
the lemon juice. Stir in the prepared fruit, a little at a time,
and then the brandy. If necessary add a little more but don't make
the mixture too damp - it should be just moist enough to drop from
the spoon if you give it a good shake.

Turn it into the prepared tin, smooth it over the top and make a
deep hollow in the centre, sloping from the middle to the edge all
the way round so that the cake rises evenly.

Put the cake in an oven preheated to 150C., on the shelf below
centre. After an hour and a half reduce the temperature to 100C.
Bake for about 2 1/2 hours longer. (After the cake has been in
the oven for at least 2 1/2 hours you can look and see if the top
is browning too much. If so, cover it with a double thickness of
greaseproof paper.) The cake is done when it is evenly risen and
brown, has shrunk from the sides of the tin, and when it has stopped
'singing'. Leave in the tin to cool, away from draughts, for at
least an hour, before taking it out and leaving it to get quite
cold before storing. Store in as large a tin as possible.


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