Lark Rise to Candleford: Dorcas Lane's plum loaf recipe

Wouldn’t we all love to live in the sun-dappled, sepia-tinged world of Lark Rise to Candleford?

Well, until we get our hands on a time-travelling DeLorean, we’ll have to make do with one of the lovely cakes baked by postmistress Dorcas Lane. It’s so rich, yummy and old-fashioned, even your gran would be proud to call it her own.

Dorcas Lane's plum loaf:

12 oz self-raising flour
Salt
Nutmeg
4 oz butter
6 oz currents
3 oz sultanas
3 oz stoned raisin
s 2 oz glacé cherries
2 oz chopped mixed candied peel
6 oz sugar
1/2 pint milk
1 oz fresh yeast or 1/2 oz dried yeast

Method: Grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin. Sieve the flour, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture is like coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the currants, sultanas and stoned raisins.

Chop the cherries and stir into the mixture with the peel and sugar. Heat the milk to lukewarm and stir in the crumbled fresh yeast (or sprinkle on the dried yeast). Leave until frothing and bubbly, which may take up to 15 minutes. Pour on to the dry ingredients and beat well. Pour into the tin and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper.

Bake in a low oven for 2¼ hours, removing the covering paper after the first hour. Turn on to a wire rack to cool. Keep for 2 days before slicing and buttering, or eating plain.

This recipe is from The Lark Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak.

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07-07-2011