I first tasted paradise cake on a visit with my BFF, Marion Brown, to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool where they have a great collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Seeing the art was wonderful, but must confess it was the delicious paradise cake that I remember most. Had never tasted or even heard of paradise cake before but apparently it is very popular in the Liverpool region. Here is a recipe from Eva LL. Jones, a true Liverpudlian lass.
Short Crust Pastry
½ cup unsalted butter
4 rounded tablespoons extra-fine sugar
2 tablespoons chopped glacé cherries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons ground rice
1 cup raisins
1 beaten egg
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Roll out pastry on a floured surface and place in a greased 11 inch by 7 inch baking pan. Bake blind for ten minutes and remove from oven.
Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and add the beaten egg. Then fold in the rest of the ingredients. Spread a generous layer of raspberry jam on the bottom of the pastry and then spread the butter mixture on top of the jam.
Bake in center of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and while still hot, sprinkle with sugar. Leave to cool in the pan. When it is cold, remove from the pan and cut into squares.