Sunday, January 02, 2011

Never Put Off Until Tomorrow...

Peanut Biscuits: makes 24
8 oz (225g) plain flour
4 oz (1o0g) peanuts (salted or unsalted)
half tsp baking powder
3 oz (75g) lard
2 eggs, beaten
6 tblsp water
Finely chop or grind the peanuts, then mix these with the flour and baking powder. Rub in the lard, and mix in most of the egg with the water to make a dough (reserving a little of the egg to brush on the biscuits).
On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to 1/4" (5mm) thick then cut into rounds or triangles and place on greased baking trays, brushing tops of biscuits with the reserved egg. Bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool and serve with butter and/or cheese.

This next recipe is so-called due to the use of 'bits and bobs' from the larder. This time a fruit cake using the larger dried fruits: dates, apricots, prunes, rather than only sultanas, raisins and currants, although any or all can be used together as long as the combined weight stays the same as the total of fruit in the recipe. Despite this cake not keeping as long as the richer, traditional recipes, it still keeps well for up to 2 months.
Pennywise Fruit Cake:
8 oz (225g) dried prunes, stoned and chopped
4 oz (100g) no-soak apricots, chopped
4 oz (100g) sultanas
2 oz (50g) dates, chopped
2 oz (50g) chopped candied peel
2 oz (50g) chopped glace cherries
half pint (300ml) cold tea
4 oz (100g) soft brown sugar
10 oz (275g) self-raising flour
2 oz (50g) ground rice (or semolina)
1 tsp mixed spice
4 oz (100g) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
Put the all dried fruits, peel, and cherries into a bowl with the tea. Cover and leave overnight to soak and swell. Sift the flour and spice together then stir in the sugar and ground rice. Add the soaked fruits and liquid, then the butter and eggs and fold together until well mixed.
Spoon mixture into a greased and double-lined 8" (20cm) square cake tin (or use a 9"/23cm round tin), levelling the surface, then bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 1 hour, then reduce heat to 300C, 150F, gas 2 and cook for a further 2 hours. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap cake in foil. Store in a cool, dry place. Eat within 2 months.