Richmond Short Cakes extends a shortbread-style recipe into a cake form. I should add for the benefit of Londoners, this is the real-mcCoy ‘Richmond’ – the one in North Yorkshire! The inclusion of dried fruit, nutmeg, and lemon juice, added to an essentially shortbread recipe, leads to a crumbly, fruity, nutmeg-spicy, cake-beast-slab that is best enjoyed with an allotment-sized mug of Yorkshire Tea.
The original recipe specified 2lb flour – but this will produce vast quantities of cake that would follow you into eternity. So I have halved the ingredients shown in the source, which produced more than enough to give a regular tea-time supply for four people for at least a week. But if you are cooking for a regiment or two, please just double the ingredients shown here.
- 6 oz (170 g) Butter
- 1lb plain flour (16 oz/450g)
- 4 oz (113 g) white sugar
- 4 oz (113 g) currants
- Half a small nutmeg grated
- Juice from a small lemon
- Melt the butter and pour into the mixed dry ingredients.
- Add the lemon juice
- Mix to a stiff paste (I added a little milk to bind the mixture, but don’t make the mixture too wet; keep it on the dry rather crumbly side).
- Oil and line a shallow rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper and press the mixture into this compressing it down so it is firm and level in the tin. You could also shape this into a circle and mark it out into wedge/diamond shapes before baking, but I think you will find the rectangular tin method works best.
- Bake for 30 minutes in a moderate oven until golden brown.
- Cool and cut it into squares or fingers.
Source: Mary Hanson Moore (1980) A Yorkshire Cookbook. David & Charles.