Gur Cake is a traditional Dublin cake, popular in working class communities. The cake was made from bakery leftovers, so it was always the cheapest item in the shop. It’s a thick slab of spiced, fruity bread pudding sandwiched between two thin layers of shortcrust pastry.
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
1 heaped tbsp suitable-for-vegans icing sugar
60g suitable-for-vegans baking margarine
For the filling:
8 slices stale bread, crusts cut off (I used wholegrain)
Very strong tea, cold
35g melted suitable-for-vegans baking margarine
3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Rind 1 orange
150g mixed dried fruit
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp mixed spice
1 tbsp molasses
90g suitable-for-vegans brown sugar
3 tbsp apple sauce
1. Make the pastry by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the vegan baking margarine and rub in between your fingers and thumbs until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp cold water (more if necessary) until the mixture comes together in a firm dough. Don’t overwork. Wrap in film and place in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
2. Steep the bread and fruit in in a single layer in just enough tea to cover (you could use a large roasting tin). Leave for an hour or so.
3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C. When the bread and fruit are soaked, strain off the tea and give the bread a quick squeeze just to remove the excess liquid so that it is no longer dripping wet. Add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick cake batter. If it’s too dry, add a squeeze of orange juice; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide in two. Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment. Roll the first half of the pastry thin and place it at the bottom of the baking dish (don’t line the sides of the tin; just the bottom). Flash bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and place the filling on top. Roll out the rest of the pastry and place it on top of the filling. Prick the pastry in several places with a fork.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin: the filling will set only when cold. Then remove from the tin and cut into squares.
7. Dust the squares with sifted icing sugar, or go for a more rustic feel and just sprinkle it on by hand.