I’ve had several requests for the recipe for the pumpkin cake that I spoke about last evening.
It’s from my Nan’s old handwritten recipe book, a truly treasured possession.
The recipes are all written in her spidery hand, with Indian ink now smudged with the passing of time.
She was an exceptional cook, this Nan, my Dad’s mum. She had worked in her parents’ bakery until she married, so when she deemed a recipe worthy of inclusion in this book they are guaranteed to be exceptional.
The only change I have made to the recipe is to use butter instead of margarine, and to convert from imperial measures to metric.
It’s certainly worth making, it’s by far the most popular cake I make for family and friends.
Nan Purton’s Pumpkin Cake
1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon natural lemon essence
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
375g to 500g mixed dried fruit
Heat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line base with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon essence (or rind) together, then whisk in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin, then the combined flours and mix with a metal spoon until the cake batter is smooth. Fold in the dried fruit. Spoon batter into tin, making sure that there are no air pockets.
Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin, and afterwards store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. If possible, leave the cake a few days before eating.