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Gur Cake for St. Patrick's Day

Servings: 12
Comments:
Gur Cake is more like a pie than a cake; made in a pastry lined cake tin, filled with a mixture of "plumped up" dried fruit, mixed spices, bread slices soaked and mashed in strong tea, and topped with a pastry crust. After the cake has cooled, it is cut into 3 1/2 x 2 inch squares for serving.

Our best friend Stella (who is from Dublin, Ireland and now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark), gave me this recipe for Gur Cake. The recipe was passed down to her by her mother. She says that this cake comes from a very old irish recipe. Gur cake is still sold today, by the slice, at most bakeries in Dublin. Try this for St. Patrick's Day, everyone will love it...........Diana


Ingredients:
For the Pastry: (see note below)*
12 oz. (2 to 2 1/2 cups) plain all-purpose flour
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:
10 thick slices white bread
1 cup (8 oz.) strongly brewed tea
1/2 cup demerrara sugar OR light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, currants, sultanas)
2-3 teaspoons mixed spice OR ground cinnamon


Instructions:
To Make The Pastry:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and blend in the cold butter, binding mixture together with the cold water. Divide pastry in half, and shape halves into 2 round discs. Wrap one of the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for later use in recipe. On a floured work surface, thinly roll out the remaining pastry disc and line the base of a greased rectangular 11x7x1/1/2 inch (28x18x4 cm) cake tin. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

For The Filling:
Soak the bread slices in the strongly brewed tea; mash very well with a fork until smooth. Stir in the sugar, the dried fruit and cinnamon (or mixed spice, if using) and set aside for an hour or two to let the dried fruit plump up.

To Assemble:
Remove pastry lined pan and remaining pastry disc from refrigerator. Spread the filling on the pastry base in an even layer.

Roll out remaining pastry disc and place over filling. Prick the pastry top all over (lightly) with a fork. Press well down and brush the top with a little cold milk.

Bake at 400 degrees F/200C/Gas Mark 6, for approximately 30 minutes or until pastry crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack; cool completely in tin. When ready to serve, cut into 3 1/2 by 2 inch slices. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 12 servings.

*Note
Substitution:
If desired, use one package store-bought (2 unbaked pie crusts) refrigerated pie crust dough (such as Pillsbury's Pie Crust dough found in the refrigerated section of your market) instead of making pastry from scratch.


Source: Stella Soriano
Date: February 26, 2003