Grandma’s Recipe Book
Every now and then I dip into my Grandmother’s book of handwritten recipes. My Grandmother has not been of this earth for some years now but something of her lived on in her recipe book. I only found it a year ago and was very excited to have it. It is wonderful to cook recipes from its pages and it takes me back to tea times in front of the fire at her house.
A spice loaf recipe from an ordinary woman and plain cook, my Grandma, who was very, very special
Food, like smells, are very evocative of time and place. My Grandmother used to create a tea that usually included several cakes and a fruity spice loaf would often be included. My Grandma was what might be termed ‘a plain cook’. Certainly unpretentious and nothing too fancy.
It is a privilege to be able to use the recipes that she cooked. It feels very special to take the recipes written down long ago (long before the internet and the age of blogs!), try them out and add them to my website, usually with a few small changes.
Easter Spice Loaf
This recipe is actually headed up Easter Spice Loaf. Most Easter spice loaf recipes are a yeast based fruit bread so I am guessing that this was an easier approximation to it.
I am writing this at Easter time and when I opened the book to consider what recipe I would cook, it seemed the most appropriate – as well as sounding delicious.
You can use whatever dried fruit you have for this recipe. I have used sultanas, currents and a handful of raisins. Use all one fruit if you like or use from a bag of mixed dried fruit. The recipe advises nutmeg and cinnamon but you can vary this perhaps using mixed spice or ginger.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or pop it in your lunch box for a real treat.
Spice Fruit Loaf
- 250g / 8oz self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 90g / 3oz butter or margarine
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 125g / 4ozs dried mixed fruit
- 90g / 3oz soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons milk
- Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C
- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Add spices, fruits and sugar
- Beat the eggs with the milk
- Stir the eggs and milk into the mixture
- The mixture should just drop off the spoon when tapped firmly against the bowl
- If it does not, add a drop more milk
- Place into a greased loaf tin
- Bake for about 75 minutes
- Check if done by seeing if a sharp knife or skewer comes out clean
- Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool
- Slice and enjoy!
Do you have any traditional recipes that are handed down through the family? Do get in touch if you would like to share them
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