This past weekend we had a family reunion for my dad’s side of the family. They hail from Sheffield in Yorkshire, so I wanted to make a traditional Yorkshire recipe.
After scouring recipe books and the internet I decided on making a Yorkshire Brack. Similar to a Scottish Brack or ‘Barmbrack‘, a Yorksire Brack is a fruit loaf that falls somewhere between bread and cake on the sweetness scale. The dried fruit is soaked overnight in whiskey and strong ‘Yorkshire Tea’, hence the ‘Yorkshire’ variation. The fruit is then incorporated into a moist loaf and baked slowly for 1 1/2 hours. The Yorkshire Brack gets its rise from baking powder while the Scottish Brack gets its rise from yeast. This makes it an easy and satisfying bake for novice and expert bakers alike. It is best served with a slice of Wensleydale cheese and a cup of……you guessed it, Yorkshire Tea.
My dog Riker peeking up at the dried fruit after they have been soaked and drained.
Mixing ‘wet’ and ‘dry’.
500g mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, currants and diced apricots)
2 cups strong black tea (preferably Yorkshire Tea or Typhoo)
250 g brown sugar
100 ml whiskey
2 eggs, whisked
300 g ap flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp powdered ginger
Add the mixed dried fruits to a large bowl. (If the dried fruits are large, dice them into smaller pieces.) Prepare 2 cups of strong tea using 2 tea bags and steep them for 3 minutes before removing the bags. You should have 2 cups after the tea bags have been removed. Pour the tea over the dried fruit and cover and refrigerate over night.
Remove steeped fruit from the refrigerator and drain the tea. Add the whiskey and the brown sugar to the fruits and stir well. Whisk the eggs and stir them into the fruit mix. In a separate bowl sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and powdered ginger together. Stir the dry mix into the soaked fruit so there are no more clumps of flour. Spoon into a greased 9″ spring form pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at the centre of a 300° oven for 1 1/2 hours. A springy cake that can be poked with a skewer that comes out clean is done. Remove from heat and wait 5 minutes before removing the spring form. Allow to cool almost completely before serving.