THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO
A cosmopolitan collection of Easter recipes, from Spanish salt cod pil pil to Italian Torta Pasqualina
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Dyed eggs with horseradish & rye bread
THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO
Easter is a wonderful thing: a four-day weekend, the first really good excuse since New Year to gather the family together for a big feed, and – all being well – the prospect of glorious spring weather, paired with glorious spring produce from Borough Market. To help inspire your Easter feasting, Ed Smith, author of The Borough Market Cookbook and a regular presence around these halls, has been quizzing our cosmopolitan cast of traders about the Easter culinary traditions that prevail in their respective corners of Europe. The result is a fascinating guide to the symbols and customs of Easter, and how they shape what we eat over that weekend. Ed has also put together a beautiful collection of recipes, some of them directly informed by the Easter dishes enjoyed by our traders. And because there’s nothing to be gained by stinting on the cake, we’ve thrown in a few extra recipes for sweet Easter treats, including the definitive hot cross bun recipe from Matthew Jones of Bread Ahead.
BOROUGH MARKET ONLINE Borough Market Online offers a wide selection of our traders’ produce, delivered direct to London addresses and, where available, by post to the rest of the UK. goodsixty.co.uk/borough-market
The Easter feaster Ed Smith Dyed eggs with horseradish & rye bread Ed Smith Salt cod pil pil Ed Smith Torta Pasqualina (Easter ricotta & artichoke pie) Ed Smith Slow-roasted leg of lamb with lemon & bay potatoes Ed Smith Galatopita (milk pie) Ed Smith (and Marianna ’ s mum) Hot cross buns Matthew Jones Carrot patch tray bake Juliet Sear Simnel cake Lesley Holdship
THE EASTER FEASTER Ed Smith
With the help of Borough Market’s cosmopolitan cast of traders, Ed Smith takes a look at Easter culinary customs from around Europe AFTER THE FAST Traditionally, Christians have observed a period of fasting for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (although it’s usually a little more than 40 days because Sundays aren’t included). This mirrors the time Jesus spent praying, fasting and resisting temptation in the desert, before returning to Galilee on the arrest of John the Baptist. Today, strict observance of the sacrifices of this period is relatively rare; certainly in the UK now, most people who mark Lent at all tend to deny themselves a small luxury, rather than fully fasting. However, many denominations and cultures do still give up meat, dairy and eggs for some or all of the period (in particular Ash Wednesday and all Fridays). Moreover, those traditions do continue to inform contemporary eating, in particular around the period from Good Friday to Easter Monday. Across Europe, and in other countries and communities where the more traditional Christian faiths are followed, it is the case that most people will centre a Good Friday meal either around vegetables or fish; that eggs and dairy will play a key role through the weekend; and that on Easter Sunday, to break the fast, there will be a meaty (frequently lamb) centrepiece. We also see a wide variety of sweet, dairy-enriched, leavened breads being consumed over the period.
FISH Some Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays throughout the year. For others, that abstinence is more strictly observed on Ash Wednesday and Fridays through Lent. Fish flesh, however, is different, and so the tradition of eating fish on a Friday has informed European diets for millennia. In the UK ‘fish on a Friday’ is a societal habit that now goes beyond religious observance. The same is true elsewhere, so inspiration for a fishy Good Friday feast this Easter is plentiful, if not particularly prescriptive. Walking round the Market there are plenty of ideas – starting, of course, with grabbing a fish pie mix from the fishmongers. Maybe pick up some tortillas from Tacos Padres and make Mexican Baja fish tacos. Or buy some salt cod from Brindisa and try the salt cod pil pil recipe in this collection – succulent, flakes of cod under an oily blanket, just wonderful with roasted peppers. EGGS Of course, we Brits know that Easter means eggs! It’s just that, in relatively recent times, those eggs have become chocolate ones, and probably fairly divorced from the meaning still appreciated elsewhere. Eggs are symbolic. At a base level, they represent new life and rebirth, and so are a timely ingredient at this time of year. The tradition of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs evolved from painted or died Paschal eggs being given as gifts. The link also runs deeper in some cultures, with the egg seen as a
representation of Jesus’s tomb, and eggs being stained the colour red – as the blood of Christ. Marianna from Oliveology recalls that at home in Greece it is customary to stain eggs using natural dye (a packet version of which she sells at her stall). Those eggs can be blessed at a midnight service on Good Friday, and often sit decoratively atop braided breads. Having been forbidden during Lent, they’re also made use of with gusto over the weekend, for example in galatopia, a delicious egg, semolina and milk pie – we’re lucky that Marianna has kindly shared with us her mum’s recipe for that. No doubt, eggs will feature over your Easter weekend. You might find it fun to die or handdecorate yours. Nadia from Karaway Bakery tells me that it was traditional in Lithuania to play a kind of conkers game with hardboiled eggs – which looking back through articles used to be a ‘thing’ in Britain too. Just remember to eat the eggs as well as crack them. We like them for breakfast Slavic style, with horseradish cream and rye bread. BREADS AND CAKES Speaking with Borough Market traders from around Europe, it was interesting to find that, as in Britain, there tend to be few absolutely prescriptive dishes or meals over the Easter period. It is more the case that people follow hyper-localised (or even familial) interpretations of the general themes discussed in this piece. One of the themes to bring the broadest smiles is that of enriched, sweetened, leavened breads. The tradition for such breads arises (pun intended) for multiple reasons, including the deep-seated Judeo-Christian significance of breaking bread, and the symbolism of the leavening reflecting the resurrection. In Britain we have hot cross buns. Elsewhere there’s Greek lambropsomo and tsoureki: soft, fluffy, aromatic braided bread with a golden-brown crust. Another example of Easter bread is Italian pane di Pasqua, a brioche-style bread likely decorated with bright sprinkles and braided to look like a nest holding a colourful died egg.
There’s also colomba di Pasqua – a cake not dissimilar to panettone, in the shape of an Easter dove – which you’ll find at Gastronomica. And the crowning piece of a Slavic Orthodox Christian Easter celebration is kulich, a tall, cylindrical, fragrant and glazed cake made of brioche dough and studded with candied citrus fruit. These are available at Karaway Bakery through the Orthodox Easter period (which runs slightly later than the dates observed in the UK). A MEATY CENTREPIECE (OR NOT) And so to the Easter Sunday meal. Chatting to traders with links to Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, eastern Europe and elsewhere, we all have a common response to the traditional Easter meal: “Yes... there is meat.” However, few of them cited anything as specific to the occasion as the British Christmas turkey and trimmings, or Italian braised lentils and cotechino at New Year. The meat is often lamb, although obviously where lambs are not common, it might very well be veal or pork instead. As in the UK, the lamb will generally be cooked quite simply – roasted, grilled or barbecued. It’s typically a large joint or, in countries like Spain and Greece, a whole milk-fed lamb, no doubt because the meals in which it is eaten tend to be relatively large family gatherings. Marianna mentioned that this year she’ll be back in Greece for the first time in a long while, enjoying all her family customs, including barbecued lamb. Given that sunshine is more likely guaranteed for her than it is for us, we suggest sticking to a more classically British roast leg of lamb, but adding hints of Greece through dried oregano, lemon and bay potatoes, and generous splodges of tsatsiki. That said, if you or others around the table plan to abstain from red meat for just a little longer, try an artichoke torta Pasqualina. Again this savoury pie (from Liguria) involves the symbolism of eggs, and makes a mightysatisfying centrepiece. It’s also excellent for an Easter Monday lunch table or picnic.
DYED EGGS WITH HORSERADISH & RYE BREAD Ed Smith Makes 10
One Easter tradition common in many Orthodox and Eastern Catholic communities is to dye eggs with natural colourings while they’re being hard-boiled. Eggs are so often seen as a symbol of rebirth and spring, but in this instance the coloured eggshell takes on further meaning, representing the tomb of Jesus, dyed (often) red with his blood.
Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a saucepan large enough to hold all the eggs while submerged. Add the vinegar, together with the dye, onion skins or cabbage leaves. Boil for 5 mins.
Some countries take egg decoration further, intricately painting the eggs by hand or through stencils, but the owners of Oliveology and Karaway Bakery both mentioned their memories of eggs being very simply dyed, and of these eggs playing a role in services through the Holy weekend. They also remember playing games in which they tried to crack each other’s egg – to the winner, a year of good luck! What sits inside the shells is never wasted, of course. One way to use them would be as the basis for an Easter Sunday or Monday morning breakfast – Baltic style – with rye bread from Karaway Bakery, hard-boiled eggs, creamed horseradish, pickles and cured meat with a hint of smoke.
Add the eggs to the boiling water. Simmer for 8 mins, remove the eggs and either plunge into iced water or chill under running cold water. Set aside to cool, or refrigerate overnight. If you’d like to add more colour to the eggs, leave the coloured water to cool completely, then submerge the eggs in the solution once more and refrigerate for 2-8 hours. Drain, pat dry and refrigerate until required. Serve with rye bread, creamed horseradish, pickles and lightly-smoked cured meats.
Ingredients 50ml red wine vinegar 2 sachets of red egg dye from Oliveology (for pink-red eggs), or the skins of 6 onions (for red-brown eggs), or the outer leaves of 1 red cabbage (for blue eggs) 10 white eggs
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Red wine vinegar Brindisa Rye bread Karaway Bakery Smoked cured meats Alpine Deli
SALT COD PIL PIL Ed Smith Serves 2-4 Salt cod is such an important ingredient across Spain. It’s also a very typical food with which to mark the last days of the Lenten fast. It is available at Borough Market through Brindisa. This dish is a very plain but extremely effective and mouth-watering one – the cod is cooked confit using garlic and chilli-infused olive oil, with the cooking oil and fish juices emulsifying into a luxurious sauce. Superb served with roasted red peppers plus fresh bread and new potatoes for mopping everything up. A truly authentic salt cod pil pil uses a specific, very gelatinous cut of cod, but a loin fillet is fine for our purposes. The emulsification process also takes a little practice, but this recipe – adapted from Monika Linton’s Brindisa: The True Food of Spain – bears that in mind and finishes with an untraditional shortcut. Ingredients 300g salt cod fillet, desalinated 140ml extra virgin olive oil 5 cloves of garlic 1 small chilli pepper, finely sliced, or a pinch of dried chilli flakes Fresh bread, potatoes, roasted red peppers and salads, to serve Method Desalinate the cod 1-2 days in advance of cooking: wash off any residual salt from the fish under gently running cold water, transfer the fish to a container in which it fits snuggly, then submerge under cold water, skin-side up, for 24-36 hours, changing the water every 8 hours or so. Remove, drain, pat dry and refrigerate until needed. Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes
To cook, cut the fillet into 2-3 pieces that fit fairly snuggly in a medium-sized, heavybottomed saucepan (this is so you don’t require gallons of oil to cook them). Before the fish goes in, heat the oil to around 120C. Slice thinly one of the garlic cloves and fry until golden, remove and set to one side. If you have fresh chilli slices, fry those too for 30-60 seconds, removing before they burn. Remove the oil pan from the heat for 5 mins so it cools down a little, then return to a low flame. Check with a breadcrumb that the oil isn’t viciously hot (it should be 60-70C, if you have a thermometer), then move the fish pieces to the pan, skin-side down, so the oil sits between halfway and two-thirds of the way up the height of the fillets. Flatten the remaining garlic cloves and add these to the saucepan. Cook gently for 25-30 mins, never letting the cod fry, swirling the pan frequently so that the hot oil laps over the top of the cod. The fish is cooked when it feels like it will flake apart if prodded. Carefully transfer the cooked fish to a warm serving dish. Peel the skin from the flesh and return the skin back to the oil. Shuffle the pan vigorously for 2 mins, then strain the oil into a bowl through a metal sieve. Whisk with a balloon whisk to ensure the oil becomes thick and glossy, then pour over the fish and sprinkle with garlic and chilli. Serve with bread or new potatoes, a green salad and some roasted red peppers.
Salt cod Brindisa Extra virgin olive oil The Olive Oil Co Chilli peppers Elsey & Bent
TORTA PASQUALINA (EASTER RICOTTA & ARTICHOKE PIE) Ed Smith Serves 6-8
Speaking to a number of the Italian traders, it’s clear that, true to so much of Italy’s food culture, every town and region has different Easter customs and dishes. Popular in Liguria is torta Pasqualina: an egg, ricotta, marjoram and vegetable pie, typically eaten at room temperature on Easter Sunday. Often, you’ll see this made with spinach or chard, but for this version we’re celebrating artichokes, which are bang in season.
Rub together or pulse in a food processor the flour and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add 200g ricotta plus salt, bring together, then kneed to a silky dough. Divide into two parts, one almost twice as big as the other. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
The most traditional pies are made with 33 layers of a filo-type pastry, representing the age of Christ at crucifixion. But traditions slip and there are many different versions around. Via Marcella Hazan and Rachel Roddy, it seems that a rich and flaky ricotta pastry is apparently acceptable and definitely delicious. It is super as a centrepiece, but also good the next day for a picnic. Ingredients For the pastry: 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 160g salted butter, cubed 200g ricotta, drained A large pinch of flaky sea salt For the filling: 4 large artichokes, trimmed, or 350-400g cooked artichoke hearts, stored in water (drained weight) Juice of 1 lemon 1 large shallot, finely diced 175ml dry white wine 10g marjoram, leaves picked and finely chopped 300g ricotta, drained 60g parmesan, finely grated ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp ground black peppercorns 6 medium eggs Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes
Meanwhile, with a bowl of lemon juice and water nearby, trim the artichokes one at a time, cutting away all the leaves and fine hairs until left with the hearts. Cut into 6-8 wedges, then drop into lemon water so they don’t oxidise, before starting the next artichoke. Soften the shallots gently in extra virgin olive oil for 6-7 mins, then add the artichoke hearts and sauté for another 3-4 mins. Increase the temperature, add the wine, then stew and steam for 15-20 mins with the lid ajar, until the hearts are tender. Remove from the heat, stir the marjoram through and leave to cool. Beat two eggs together. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine almost all of the beaten eggs, plus the remaining ricotta, parmesan, the artichokes, nutmeg and pepper. Heat the oven to 200C. Oil and flour a deep 20cm, spring-release cake tin. On a floured surface roll the larger piece of pastry 2-3mm thick, into a shape that will fill the tin, leaving a 1-2cm overhang. Line the tin and fill with the artichoke mix. Make four indentations in the mix and crack an egg into each one. Roll the second piece of dough into a disc to fit the top, add that, then fold and crimp the overhang. Paint with the remaining egg and bake in the hot oven for 40-45 mins until golden. Remove and leave to cool for at least 30 mins before slicing and serving. @boroughmarket
Ricotta Gastronomica Artichokes Turnips Parmesan Bianca Mora
SLOW-ROASTED LEG OF LAMB WITH LEMON & BAY POTATOES Ed Smith Serves 6-8
So many of the traders I spoke to mentioned that the food on Easter Sunday revolves around meat, which breaks the 40-day Lenten fast. What meat that would be, the style in which it’s cooked, and whether there was a particular recipe used differed from place to place. Of course, that makes sense – in reality customs evolved around the animals that were locally prized, and the climate and cooking styles of each region. Lamb was frequently mentioned, not least milk-fed young lambs in Greece, parts of Italy and northern Spain. Often, the animal would be grilled over flames.
Heat the oven to 240C. Place the lamb in a roasting tin or other oven-proof dish into which it fits fairly snuggly.
This recipe is not for milk-fed lamb, nor is it barbecued (can we in the UK be confident of similar spring weather to a Greek island?). But it does take inspiration from Greek flavours – dried oregano, lemons and bay. The dish is absolutely made by adding spoonfuls of tzatziki, from a recipe shared by Marianna, founder of Oliveology. Ingredients For the lamb: 2kg leg of lamb 1 bulbs of garlic 2 tbsp dried oregano 350ml dry white wine 1kg waxy new potatoes 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges 6 bay leaves For Marianna’s tzatziki: 500g Greek yogurt 1 large cucumber 1 handful of dill 1 clove of garlic 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes
Cut the garlic bulb in half through its middle (rather than root to tip). Pop the equivalent of three full cloves from the bulbs, roughly chop, then use a pestle and mortar to pound into a puree with a pinch of flaky salt as an abrasive. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp dried oregano. Rub the lamb, paying particular attention to the flesh (as opposed to the fat). Transfer to the roasting tin and cook for 20 mins, so the meat is burnished. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160C. Lift the meat from its tin and set aside. Pour in the wine and 350ml water, and add in the remaining 1 tbsp oregano, the bay leaves, potatoes, garlic and lemon quarters. Nestle the lamb back in. Carefully tent the tray with foil, then return to the cooler oven for 3½ hours. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Grate the cucumber and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Finely chop the dill. Mince the garlic with a little salt. Mix everything together and add the vinegar and olive oil. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 180C. Check the lamb – it should feel as though the meat will come apart with just a little push from a spoon and fork. If cooked, transfer the lamb to a warm plate and cover with the foil. Return the potatoes and juices to the oven for a 20-30 mins blast. They won’t become crispy, but they will take on a little more colour. Serve the lamb in large chunks with plenty of broth, the potatoes, and loads of tzatziki. Perhaps a green or Greek salad for luck. @boroughmarket
Lamb Northfield Farm Dry white wine Borough Wines Greek yoghurt Oliveology
GALATOPITA (MILK PIE) Ed Smith (and Marianna’ s mum) Serves 10-12
One traditional dessert in Greece over the Easter period is galatopita – a milk, egg and semolina bake that’s smooth, comforting, just sweet enough and a gorgeous custardy treat for anyone who’s gone through the 40 days of Lent without eggs and dairy. It’s simple and a guaranteed hit, both as a deliberate afterdinner sweet thing, or something that can be picked at during coffee and tea breaks over a bank holiday weekend. This is Mrs Kalliopi’s recipe – Marianna from Oliveology’s mum!
Heat your oven to 180C. Place the milk in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the vanilla and stir well. Add the semolina and sugar. Use a whisk to start bringing it all together. As the milk warms up and the semolina hydrates, you will see the mixture slowly thickening up. Keep whisking the mixture for 15-20 mins, so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pot. The texture we’re going for is like that of a very thick béchamel sauce, or Greek yoghurt. It should also be smooth, not grainy.
Ingredients 1.2 litres whole milk 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 200g golden caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting 150g fine semolina, plus a little extra for dusting 6 medium eggs 1-2 tbsp olive oil 2-3 tsp cinnamon
When ready, remove the pot from the heat and leave for 5 mins so that it’s no longer scalding hot. Then add the eggs one at a time, whisking constantly, so that each egg is incorporated before you move on to the next one. The mixture will now be even silkier. Oil and dust with semolina a shallow 20cm x 30cm baking tray. Pour in the mixture. Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp sugar and sieve 1-2 tsp cinnamon on top. Bake for 40-45 mins, until the pie has puffed up a little and wobbles only a touch. Remove from the oven, then leave to cool and firm up before slicing. (It keeps well in a cool place for 2-3 days.) Serve with extra cinnamon dusted on top.
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Whole milk Hook & Son Eggs Wyndham House Poultry Cinnamon Spice Mountain
HOT CROSS BUNS Matthew Jones Makes 8 Hot cross buns are the quintessential Easter bake. At Bread Ahead, we only produce them for one month over the Easter period, but we won’t blame you if these become a year-round bake in your kitchen. Simply by not adding the cross they become the most sensational little tea buns. Even if they get a few days old, you can slice them open, toast them and enjoy with some farmhouse butter, followed by a nap.
scraper to bring the ingredients together into a rough dough, ensuring it is well mixed and there are no pockets of flour or butter.
Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead. Hold onto the dough with one hand and use the other hand to stretch and fold for around 5 mins until the dough is nice and smooth. Stretch the dough into a pizza shape and pile the dried fruits and spices in the middle. Fold the dough over to cover the fruit, then gently start to roll and fold the dough until the fruits and spices are evenly distributed.
For the buns: 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting ½ tsp fine sea salt 40g caster sugar 30g unsalted butter, softened and cubed 8g fresh yeast or 4g dried active yeast 140g full-fat milk 40g sultanas 25g mixed peel 1 tsp mixed spice 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, a plate or a shower cap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 65g pieces. Roll each one into a smooth ball and place on the baking tray. Leave plenty of room between them as they will spread out. Cover with a damp cloth and leave at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
For the cross mixture: 100g strong white flour A pinch of fine sea salt 120ml water
While the buns are proving, make the cross mixture and glaze. For the cross mixture, mix together the flour, salt and water until you have a smooth paste, then transfer to a piping bag with a 4mm plain nozzle.
For the glaze: 100g soft light brown sugar 1½ tbsp lemon juice 80ml water Method Place the flour, salt, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter to a sandy consistency. Mix the yeast and milk together until the yeast has dissolved, then add to the mixing bowl. Use your hand or a dough Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes
For the glaze, combine the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil. Heat the oven to 180C. Once the buns have proved, pipe a cross on the top of each one. Bake for 16 mins until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. After 2 mins, brush with the glaze. Recipe from Bread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker by Matthew Jones (Hardie Grant) @boroughmarket
CARROT PATCH TRAY BAKE Juliet Sear Makes 24
This cake is so delicious and very easy to bake and decorate. The playful use of fresh baby carrots and delicious brittle adds a lovely touch to the creamy frosted top. It’s a real crowd pleaser – plenty to serve up at a large gathering!
Heat the oven to 200C. Place the flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl and dry whisk through to distribute everything evenly.
Ingredients For the cake: 400g self-raising flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon 350g light muscovado sugar 350ml sunflower oil 6 large eggs, lightly beaten 300g grated carrot 250g sultanas 200g walnuts, chopped into small pieces Grated zest of 2 oranges Fort the frosting: 140g butter 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 280g icing sugar 200g cream cheese To decorate: A few fresh small carrots with their tops, washed and trimmed 50g nut brittle, crushed
Place the muscovado sugar in a large bowl, add the oil and, with a whisk, mix well to break down any lumps. Add the eggs and whisk through to combine. Add the grated carrot, sultanas and nuts to the mix and stir well. Add the flour and cinnamon mix and gently fold through until fully combined. Line a large tray bake tin (mine is 33cm x 23cm) with parchment paper. Pour the cake mixture into the lined tin and bake for 35-45 mins until cooked through, well risen and golden. Test in the centre with a skewer to make sure it’s completely cooked – the skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool completely before icing. Make the frosting by beating the butter and vanilla in your stand mixer until pale, light and creamy (an electric beater or wooden spoon would also work). Gradually beat in the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Lastly, on a slow setting, gently beat in the cream cheese. Spread the frosting over the top of the tray bake in an even layer. To decorate, add a few baby carrots, chopped at different heights, and sprinkle with crushed nut brittle.
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SIMNEL CAKE Lesley Holdship Makes 1 cake This is a traditional Easter cake, packed with dried fruit and spices. The cake is topped with 11 marzipan balls, which represent the 11 non-treacherous apostles – no place on here for Judas! Ingredients For the marzipan: 350g ground almonds 175g caster sugar 175g icing sugar 2 large eggs For the cake: 200g butter, at room temperature 200g soft brown sugar 3 large eggs 200g self-raising flour 2 tsp ground mixed spice 375g dried fruits, like currants, cherries or raisins 75g mixed peel 75g 70% chocolate, roughly chopped 1 lemon, zest and juice 1 orange, zest and juice 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed Chocolate eggs, to decorate Method
to use a fork for the job. Add the flour and mixed spice to the bowl and stir to combine. Pile in the remaining ingredients and stir to make a lovely chunky cake batter. Divide the marzipan into three, take one third and roll it out to a circle the same size as the cake tin. Spoon half of the cake mix into the tin, then lay on the marzipan disc. Spread over the remaining cake mix. Bake the cake for 2 hours. Test it with a skewer if you feel you need to. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Take another third of marzipan, roll into 11 balls about the size of a grape. Lastly, roll out the remaining piece of marzipan to a circle the same diameter as the cake. Once it has cooled, brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and cover with the circle of marzipan, crimping the edges if you like. Then place the marzipan bobbles around the top of the cake. Place under a really hot grill to give the marzipan a golden brown tinge, or, if you like a bit of theatricals, use a blow torch! Finally, decorate with some chocolate eggs and ribbon.
Heat the oven to 150C. Base line a deep 20cm cake tin. For the marzipan, stir together the almonds and the two sugars. Break in the eggs, then using a table knife bring together into a soft dough. Wrap and chill until you need it. For the cake, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and pale. Break in the eggs one at a time and beat those in too. I like Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes
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