Melton Hunt Cake, Leicestershire
Melton Mowbray is one of the great gourmet pilgrimage destinations of England, whose three great products would comprise a tempting if weighty three-course picnic: the pork pie for main – Melton is the world centre of excellence; Stilton cheese made locally to finish; and for pudding the less well-known but equally delectable Melton Hunt Cake.
Made by one company – Dickinson and Morris of pork pie fame - since its invention in 1854, Melton Hunt Cake as the name implies was created to fill the stomachs of the local hunt members: the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible, though in Melton with very pleasant edibles already within the unspeakable. Its ideal pairing is still something alcoholic along the stirrup cup lines, maybe a decent rich sherry or a glass of port, rather than a cup of tea.
The Melton Hunt Cake is a top class fruit cake, not for the salad-nibblers of this world: packed with cherries, flaked almonds and dried fruit, moistened with rum, and topped with whole almonds, it is deeply satisfying; and with plenty of muscovado sugar and butter used in the recipe it is full of energy too, whether or not your goal is – or was - the fox.