English Tea Cake –

by

This is an old-fashioned English Tea Cake. You will notice that there is nothing to rise the flour – no yeast, baking soda, or baking powder. This makes for a very dense loaf. The more modern versions are baked as individual small cakes with some rising agent. This is the older variant. If you cannot get currents then substitute raisins, but currents are more authentically British, and quite good.

270 g all-purpose flour (1-3/4 cup)
3 g salt (1/4 tsp)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 cup)
200 g sugar (1 cup)
3 large eggs
70 g dried currants (1/2 cup)
80 g dried apricots, chopped (1/2 cup)
60 g sliced or slivered almonds (1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9- by 5- by 3-inch metal loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar together at a moderately high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes with a stand mixer. Add the eggs and mix well. Sprinkle salt evenly and mix in flour at low speed just until well combined. Stir in fruit and almonds.

Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs attached and the top is golden, about 60 to 90 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely. Quite good with butter or ice cream.

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