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Cornish Saffron Cake

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  Saffron strands 1 Teaspoon
  Warm water 3 Tablespoon
  Fresh compressed yeast 1 Ounce, crumbled
  All purpose flour 2 Pound
  Superfine sugar 8 Ounce
  Warm milk 1⁄2 Pint
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Grated nutmeg 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Ground cinnamon 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Lard 6 Ounce (Shortening)
  Butter 6 Ounce
  Mixed dried fruit 8 Ounce
  Lemon peel 2 Ounce, chopped

Place the saffron and warm water in a small bowl and leave overnight.
Blend yeast with 2 oz.(1/2 cup) of the flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and the milk.
Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until frothy.
Strain the saffron strands, reserving the liquor.
Sift remaining flour, salt and spices into a warmed bowl and stir in the remaining sugar.
Rub in the lard and butter.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast batter and saffron liquor.
Draw the ingredients together and beat to give a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Put into a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours until doubled in bulk.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead in the fruit and peel.
Divide in half and shape into two loaves.
Place in greased 1 lb.loaf tins.
Put into oiled polythene (plastic) bags and leave for 30 minutes or until well risen.
Remove from the bags.
Bake in a hot oven, 425°F, Gas Mark 7 for 40 minutes.
Turn out and cool on a wire tray.

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