This can be made with stale cake rather than bread if preferred, in which case omit the dried fruit.


  • 8 slices stale bread, crusts cut off
  • 3 tblsp flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 110g (4 oz) brown sugar
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 175g (6 oz) currants or mixed dried fruit
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 tblsp milk
  • 350g (12 oz) shortcrust pastry
  • Sugar for sprinkling


  • Soak the bread in a little water for an hour, then squeeze the moisture out. Combine the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, sugar, butter, fruit, beaten egg and milk. Mix well.
  • Line the bottom of a 22cm (9in) square tin with half of the pastry and spread the mixture over, then cover with the remaining pastry. Make a few diagonal gashes across the top and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 for about an hour. Sprinkle the top with sugar and allow to cool in the tin, then cut into 24 small squares. (A square of this size used to be sold for a halfpenny.)

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