Food: lardy cake

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The Independent Culture
After testing your recipes for lardy cake, for which I thank you all once more, it is with a good deal of embarrassment that I discover a lardy cake recipe in the very book I raved about only two weeks ago: Margaret Costa's Four Season's Cookery Book (thank you lain McNicol, of London N1). So it only seems right to now give you the great lady's lardy legacy.

Margaret Costa's Lardy Cake, serves 6

450g/1lb risen bread dough

100g/scant 4oz lard

75g/3oz caster sugar

50g/2oz currants

12 tsp mixed spice

sweetened milk to glaze

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Roll it out about an inch thick and spread with a third of the lard. Fold in three, as for flaky pastry, roll out again and repeat the process twice more. The last time you roll it, sprinkle the sheet of dough with the sugar, currants and spice. Fold and roll out lightly into a rectangle or square. Score a diamond pattern across the top with the tip of a sharp knife and transfer to a baking sheet. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 40 minutes until it doubles in bulk, then bake in a moderate oven, 350F/180C/gas mark 4, for about 1 hour. Brush the cake with a little sweetened milk just before removing from the oven. Best eaten hot. (warm might be even better)