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Lardy Cake

In the North of England, it is traditional to serve lardy cake on holidays and special occasions.

  • yield: Makes two 11-by-17-inch cakes

Ingredients

  • Sour Lardy Cake Dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 6 cups mixed dried fruit, such as currants, cranberries, and golden raisins
  • 8 ounces pure vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups turbinado or packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup cognac

Directions

  1. Step 1

    On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough into a 16-inch square. Cover the remaining half with plastic wrap; set aside. In a small bowl, combine ginger, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and mace. In a large bowl, combine dried fruit.

  2. Step 2

    Spread 2 ounces shortening over top of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons turbinado sugar over shortening. Sprinkle one-fourth of combined spices over sugar. Sprinkle one-fourth of dried fruit over spices. Using the palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough.

  3. Step 3

    Fold four corners of square into center, creating a smaller square, enclosing filling. Gently press down on dough with rolling pin. Spread 2 ounces shortening over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons sugar, another one-fourth of spices, and another one-fourth of fruit. Using palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough; fold dough into thirds.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper; roll dough out into an 11-by-17-inch rectangle. Carefully lifting parchment, transfer to baking sheet. Let stand about 20 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Repeat steps one through four with remaining dough, shortening, turbinado sugar, spices, and dried fruit.

  6. Step 6

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine jam and cognac in a small saucepan. Set over low heat; cook until liquefied. Strain jam, discarding solids. Brush surface of lardy cakes with jam.

  7. Step 7

    Bake cakes until golden and puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Lardy cake will keep for up to 1 day, wrapped in aluminum foil; reheat cake before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999

Reviews (5)

  • 6 Jul, 2012

    Messed up my last post. It is not supposed to be flat like this either but is traditionally cake shaped and usually has a sticky base. This one looks too dry and flat to me.

  • 6 Jul, 2012

    Lardy cake is not from the North of England. It is from Wiltshire in the South West where pig farming was common and

  • 1 Nov, 2011

    This looks WONDERFUL. I have rendered lard here which I use when I make piecrust - I'll be substituting it for the vegetable shortening - and making it soon!

  • 14 Aug, 2011

    Lovely! Being Brit born I've had a few Lardy cakes in my day, and have to say this recipe ranks right up there for taste!

    To ihodds re your comment about changing the name of the recipe. #1. Your comment was out of line. If you don't want to make the recipe, move on. #2. Do some research please. Lardy cake has been around since your Grandmothers day and before her. Why should the name of a traditional British recipe be changed to suit your fancy?

  • 21 Apr, 2010

    You really should change the name of this recipe with so many health concious people out there. I was sure there was lard in the recipe, luckily there is none.