Lardy Cake


Originates from Wiltshire in western England.


Half teaspoon sugar
3 fl.oz warm milk
1 teaspoon dried yeast
¾ lb strong white flour
¼ oz salt
¼ oz lard or marg
4 oz lard
4 oz granulated sugar
4 oz sultanas & currants
Half teaspoon mixed spice
1 oz granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Dissolve sugar in the milk, then sprinkle on the yeast and leave in a warm place until dissolved and frothy - about 10 mins.
Mix flour and salt together in a bowl and rub in the quarter ounce of lard or marg. Make a well in the middle and stir in the yeast mixture to form a firm, but not too sticky, dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth.
Form into a ball, place in a clean bowl and, covering with a clean teacloth, leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk. Then "knock back" and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is firm - about 2 mins.
Roll into a rectangle about 10 inches by 6.
Cut the 4 oz lard into flakes and spread one third on to two thirds of the dough.
Sprinkle over one third of the sugar, fold up the uncovered third of the dough and the top third down to form a parcel, sealing the ends with a rolling pin.
Give a half turn to the dough and roll out as before adding the lard and sugar and half the fruit and spice before folding up again.
Repeat this process once more, then roll out the dough for a fourth time, fold without any additions and roll out to fit a seven inch square cake tin, well greased with lard.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 mins.
Set oven to 450 degrees F or Mark 8.
Score the top of the lardy cake in a diamond pattern and bake for 25-30 mins.
Dissolve the sugar in the milk and boil until very syrupy to form a glaze.
Brush over the hot lardy cake and leave for 2 mins.
Then remove from the tin and turn upside down on a wire rack, over a plate to cool, spooning any lard or syrup left in the tin over the base of the cake.
Serve upside down, cut into slices either plain or spread with butter.


My thanks to Gill F-P for the information and the recipe.