Gur cake was an invention of Dublin bakers early in the 20th century -- a way to use up day-old bread or cake and still make some money from it. It quickly became available all over Ireland, and can still be found in some big-city bakeries.
|8 slices||of stale bread or cake (almost any kind: raisin bread would work well in this)|
|2/3 cup||plain (all-purpose) flour|
|2 teaspoons||pumpkin pie spice|
|1/2 teaspoon||baking powder|
|1/2 cup||granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling|
|1/4 cup||butter, melted|
|1||egg, lightly beaten|
|milk to mix|
To make the shortcrust pastry: Mix together the plain flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in 2-3 tablespoons cold water and knead the mixture lightly to form a firm dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and flour an 8" square baking pan.
Remove the crusts from the bread and make the remainder into crumbs. If using cake, make that into crumbs. Put the crumbs into a mixing bowl with the flour, salt, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and currents. Mix well to combine.
Add the butter and egg to the dry ingredients with enough milk to make a fairly stiff, spreadable mixture.
Roll out the pastry, and using the baking pan as a guide, cut out one piece of pastry to make the lid. Using the rest of the pastry dough, re-rolled as necessary, to line the base of the pan/tin. Spread the pastry with the cake mixture: then cover with the pastry lid.
Make diagonal slashes across the top. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool in the tin. Cut into slices.