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#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Cake coming up for the special celebration

I started a family tradition when I met my ex-husband, and later it was more for the children, as they loved the fruit cakes I made and so it was always a birthday special to have a ‘special’ boiled fruit cake then.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, its easy to make and delicious to eat.

 

Special Rich Boiled Fruit Cake

 

There is something so deliciously special about this super moist cake and it has remained a favourite with guests and family for more years than I care to remember. So when my husband was having his birthday at the beginning of this month, for the first time in ages I felt well enough to do some serious baking. Serious only in so far as I simply haven’t felt well enough to do anything too extra ordinary as I thought I’d end up in the oven with the cake.

Needless to say I had to rush out and buy all the ingredients. One doesn’t have much in the pantry if you’ve stopped baking. So here it is, the cake to make your mouth water and want for more. It was all the more special this time as he had never tasted my boiled fruit cake. Apparently I’ve given his Mum a run for her money with this one. Oops

 

Boiled Fruit Cake – Susan’s Style

Ingredients

I Cup of sugar (or substitute)

¾ cup water

110 grams (¼ lb) butter

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon Bicarb-Soda

I packet mixed fruit (good quality please)

I packet of glace cherries – for the mix             and

1 packet to decorate (I just love them!)

I packet of slivered almonds for the mix,

Reserve some for the top if you like to make a nicely finished off cake.

Place all of the above in a saucepan and boil for approximately 5 minutes. Allow to cool

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#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

All the ingredients in the pan, stir well

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCak

Bring all the ingredients to a boil

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

The Bicarb-Soda makes the foam rise to the top of the pan

 Remaining ingredients

2 large eggs, beaten (700 gm eggs free range are best)

I cup of Plain flour

I cup of Self Raising flour (or Self-Rising flour)

½ cup Sherry (optional)

Alternately add the beaten eggs, plain flour and self-raising (or rising) flour and sherry. Mix well.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

2 eggs beaten, S/R and Plain flour and the Sherry!

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Add eggs, flour/s and sherry alternately

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Mixture is ready for the last stage

Oh – I nearly forgot the Sherry 🙂

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Nothing much left here after all those cakes

 

Place the mixture in a lined cake time in a moderate oven (320 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius) for approximately 1 hour.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

One decorated cake ready for the oven

 

Test with a wooden skewer – if it comes out clean it is done.

Depending on your oven, test the cake after 45 – 50 minutes.

Allow to cool in the paper. (It also keeps the sherry in.)

 

The Special Touch of Decadence

With a pastry brush, and whilst the cake is still hot, paint the top of the cake with additional sherry. The heat makes the cake absorb the sherry immediately.

Depending on whether your mixture was a little dry you can repeat this process after you have tasted the first slice – I have to admit that I usually paint it again and wrap it in alfoil and then a plain tea towel to keep the moisture in.

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Sherry to add that extra decadence

(Treating it like a Christmas cake really allows the flavour to seep into the fruit deliciously.)

Cake remains beautifully moist for a couple of weeks – if you can get it to last that long!

#Susan's SpecialBoiledFruitCake

Almost ready to eat…. who needs it to cool down?

I usually have to make two cakes, (at least), to get a chance of savouring it after the first couple of days – even with the two of us! The little uns still love it!

Enjoy!

Blessings, Susan ♥♥♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#Fig Jam

Fig Tree full of fruit

“In fact, people who posses no magic at all can instill their home-cooked meals with love and security and health, transforming ingredients and bringing disparate people together as family and friends. There’s a reason that when opening one’s home to guests, the first thing you do is offer food and drink. Cooking is a kind of everyday magic.”
Juliet Blackwell

We have a very ignored fig tree in the back garden. It’s been ignored because last year, the summer we moved here, the birds and fruit bats must have swallowed them whole since we didn’t catch sight of anything larger than a green marble.  This year the tree is loaded and we made Fig and Apple Jam. The recipe is called simply Fig Jam, but the apples have been added to add more bulk and flavour.  We also found some lovely lemons on our tree. The apples we bought and are organic.

#Fig Jam

One large bowl of ripe figs

Here is the delicious and easy recipe. (Recipe and instructions in blue)

1 1/2 pounds of figs

1 1/2 pounds apples

2 lemons (juice and rind)

2 pounds sugar

#Fig Jam

1.5 pounds of figs

1 1/2 pounds of apples

#Fig Jam

1.5 pounds apples

Method

Slice the figs, peel, core and finely slice apples.

#Fig and Apple Jam

1.5 pounds sliced figs

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#Fig and Apple Jam

1.5 pounds finely sliced apples

Slice the lemon and juice them. Reserve the liquid and finely slice the rind and any remaining flesh.

#Fig and Apple Jam

2 lemons

#Fig and Apple Jam

Finely sliced lemon (after juicing)

I used my trusty fine slicer to get the apples and lemon rind finely sliced.  Since the figs cook quickly this helps the mixture to cook more quickly without losing any flavour.

#Fig and Apple Jam

The trusty fine slicer n dicer

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#Fig and Apple Jam

Apples, figs, lemon juice and rind

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Put the figs, apples, lemon juice and rind into the pan and cook slowly until tender.

Then add the sugar and boil rapidly.

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#Fig and Apple Jam

Jam brought to boil

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#Fig and Apple Jam

Getting rid of the chunks

We prefer a smooth jam so we mashed a few large pieces of apple we missed. If you prefer a chunkier jam you can leave the apple pieces larger, just make sure they are very tender.

The sugar will dissolve immediately when added to the pan as the lemon juice and other fruit juices have already made a juice hot enough to dissolve the sugar.

Test for set after it has been boiling for about 15 minutes. (If you like it thicker you may want to cook it for a few minutes longer.

Ensure your jars are ready, sterilised and hot. The hot jam will crack a cool jar.

#Fig and Apple Jam

Fill jars carefully

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#Fig and Apple Jam

A small pan was easier to handle

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It is not considered advisable to allow figs to stand overnight with sugar, as fermentation sets in rapidly if figs are wet or ripe.

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#Fig and Apple Jam

Fig Jam anyone?

Make sure the jars are sealed as soon as they are filled so that a firm airtight seal is created. Jam will last as long as it takes people to eat it.

The finished batch, from start to finish, (our first time with this recipe) was one hour.

~                         ~We had to try some on toast. It is delicious!~

#Fig and Apple Jam

Breakfast delight

I managed to make this yesterday, after my bath rejuvenated me. I need to report that one jar of jam is almost finished. In our defense it was a small jar!

I hope you enjoy it.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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Let me paint you a picture.

image from cheezburger.com

The day began like most days…. the realisation by slow increments that it is daylight and there is a need, almost an urgency, to attend to certain bodily functions. A low groan makes itself heard and as your eyes are painstakingly cracked open once more a blurry visage appears in the small field of your vision. An angel from somewhere has appeared and manoeuvres you into a seated position, legs are swung around and after a pregnant pause you heave and are heaved into a standing position. An uncoordinated marionette staggers to the bathroom and in due time reappears and the return journey is replayed much like the first half of the sequence.

image from david-procter.mysupadupa.com –

Tea arrives and the humanizing process has begun. This is usually the time the sunglasses appear so that the eyes can be opened a little further. The first tablets appear and are ingested.  Strange noises, groans and half formed words slide past strangely numb lips.  Decoding this strange language takes skill but the angel seems to understand, more pills are swallowed and the angel then fades into the distance after ensuring you are properly propped up by a mound of pillows, neck braced to stop you twisting into a pretzel and silence reigns one more.

Eventually, you regain more recognition of your surroundings. The strange dream of running with wolves fades into the background, although the vision of a pair of wolves eyes remains, “You are being looked after by the wolves”. Such a strange thought to surface with, but at least the lucidity is returning. I have yet to work out the meaning of the strange dream which is till with me and has nothing to do with what followed..

Eating is not a topic I discuss often these days. Food, once a delight to all the senses, now requires a  tentative approach, taking into account all the strange gastronomic reactions that may hide for the unwary.  For some time we have been trying to work out what we can do to start the (my) day with something nutritious but which will not cause the unwelcome havoc other food has caused.

Eggs! Gods gift to the ill, small children and the elderly. So my grandmother always told me. They have been eulogised and vilified over the years.  Right – we have a beginning. We have recently gone glutton free – oh, sorry, that should be gluten-free, and have found some very nice gluten-free muffins. We, that is my chief cook, suggested a nutritious home-made version of (don’t spank me) the McMuffin!  Gluten free muffin, organic eggs and bacon. Hmm, I think we may have a winner.

Oh yes! Glorious yummy, decadent golden goodness.  Beautiful firm cooked egg white and soft runny golden yolk, crispy dry fried bacon and a toasted muffin. Ooh – aaahhh, so scrumptious.  Sorry, too tasty to stop for a photo!

image from nookandpantry.blogspot.com –

Now for days I have been served this delicious and nutritious start to my day… whatever time that happened to be. More often than not it is Ray’s lunch, but I’m not complaining, not at all.  I slowly nibble my muffin and ease into the deliciousness of food sitting sweetly in my tummy and start to feel human again.

Eggs are delightful and entertaining fare.  I have watched as Ray tucks heartily into his muffin and been rewarded by the golden yolk spurting out and hitting his lap; (must not laugh, must not laugh), followed a couple of days later by it shooting out toward him and hitting his lapel and chin, (must not laugh, must not laugh).  There is a very good reason for not laughing. I have found, to my dismay, that if I start to laugh I forget to chew and swallowing a half chewed morsel can cause coughing and spluttering and all sorts of unpleasantness.  I’ve taken the reminder as a warning to not feel smug because I haven’t had a problem with my yolks. (Bad, bad move, now I’ve “put the wood on things”).

This morning, well today, was a complete farce from beginning to end.  Everything progressed as usual until the Ray Muffin arrived. I’m nibbling away and Ray is tucking in. As his teeth come together there is a brilliant yellow  stream spraying out the side of his muffin and up his arm.  Not content with that, the surprise made him bite his cheek. D’oh and Double ouch!  I’m feeling chipper, no yolky mess here. Big mistake, smugness is not a good thing. I’m still nibbling, haven’t hit the golden yolk yet.

OMG! A huge spray of hot, golden yolk flies out of my muffin and hits me squarely in the chest, rapidly running down and congealing into a sticky mess on my shirt. Icky! Looking with affronted dismay at my lost yolk, Ray dissolves into laughter. I’m not sure who or what to be more affronted by, Ray for laughing, or the loss of my beautiful yolk. Oh, the revenge of the eggceptional Ray Muffin.

No, this is neither Ray nor I, but I’m sure you get the gist of the mornings farcical nature. To conclude this homage to the revenge of the humble egg I found this humorous anecdote.

“So familiar are eggs to us, however, that in the eighteenth century they were referred to as cackling farts, on the basis that chickens cackled all the time and eggs came out of the back of them.”
Mark Forsyth, The Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

Mystery, if such there was has been solved. It was “Eggceptional Holmes”.

Ciao,

Susan

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