Whilst handing over the freshly baked rich fruit cake to my Dad my Mum and I were making a pot of tea in the kitchen when she suddenly darted into the draw where she keeps her cake tins and rummaged around a little and found and presented me with her Christmas cake tin and asked me if I would like it.
Like it? I’d Love it.
I could see she was a little bit sad at handing over such a treasure and she tried to explain that it was old and a bit rusty but once you’d lined it really well etc etc. I brushed her worries aside and told her how I had hubby’s mothers original Christmas cake tin and how it too needs to be lined well, and how happy I was to have both cake tins. I mean to say for me, I couldn’t have been happier if you had given me the crown jewels. I’ve used hubby’s Mothers Christmas cake tin all the way through my 30 years of marriage, hubbys Mum gave up on Christmas cake making quite early really. And my Mother was until recently a very avid baker of a fruit cake, making I would think at least ten maybe more a year, it has definitely seen decent service. If only we could go to all the parties and Christmases that these cake tins have been used for, in much the same way that Scrooge visits Christmas past, it would be wonderful wouldn’t it.
Hubby’s Mum’s is on the left and my Mum’s is on the right. It made me laugh when I put them together, one can see that hubby comes from a family of four and we come from a family of seven just by the size of the cake tin!
There are no identifying marks on the tins but when one turns them over I am pretty sure that are made by the same manufacturer. They seem to feel the same, have the same welding and air holes etc. Both tins must be over sixty years old, hubby’s Mums might be getting on for eighty!
The beauty of these tins is that they are made specifically for the baking of a rich fruit cake, you would never bake a light cake in them because of their construction. I don’t know if you can see but they have a double layer on the bottom with an air gap in-between the layers which makes them perfect for the long slow cooking of a fruit cake, mine often stay in for 4 1/2 hours, sometimes a little more. If you used a normal tin, even with a good layer of grease proof you would run the risk of burning the bottom of the cake. In fact it’s almost a certainty, but with a cake tin like this and a good quadruple layer of brown paper around the sides tied up with string the cake cooks evenly and gently.
And along with this I have never come across one of this type of tin brand new. Which is I think a terrible shame, manufacturers are missing a trick there. And I’ve never seen a second hand one and believe me I have looked.
Yesterday Mum and I looked through her old recipe books for her original cake recipe, I wanted to christen my new to me tin and present her with a cake that she loved to eat and make from me. Sadly we could not find it, so I am in search of a recipe to fill such a big tin. I’ll find one soon before my next batch of baking.
I can safely say this tin has gone to a very good home.