The shortest day is here; Christmas cake is for winter in the Northern Hemisphere and suits a warming cup of tea of an afternoon. Here in the Southern Hemisphere it works the same, but needs a new name.
This recipe is a re-invented Christmas cake perfect for the shortest day with fruit steeped in citrus-scented tea.
1 ½ cups of boiling water
6 Lady Grey tea bags
1 kilo dried fruit mix
200 grams butter, chilled and grated
2 cups organic stoneground plain flour, sifted
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 free range organic eggs, beaten
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup real maple syrup
Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes and then discard the bags. Add the fruit and cover. Leave for four hours or overnight until the fruit is lovely and plump.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Line and grease a 23cm cake tin allow a high paper collar as the cake will rise.
Rub the butter into the flour by hand or in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, baking soda and salt and combine.
Stir through the soaked fruit.
Mix together the eggs, milk and maple syrup and stir through the dry ingredients.
Press into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.