Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eccles Cakes

This post is a guest post from Bob's aunt, Olive, who lives in Canada so it is in Imperial but I have conversions in the brackets. I have never heard of Eccles Cakes before but Bob has a vague memmory about them and tells me they contain sultanas and dried fruits. Olive kindly sent the recipe and the photo for this blog. I am sure that if she could also send the real things she would. The recipe yields 12 cakes.

"Eccles was a town in the north of England, now incorporated into Greater Manchester. They were the result of 2 rival bakers trying to prove their supremacy. They originated in the late 1700’s & are sold throughout England. Bob probably remembers them.

They are sweet so I reduced the amount of sugar slightly. Plus I was not able to get mixed peel at this of the year so substituted mixed candied fruit.

It tastes similar-contains diced candied citron, I think. As you may guess from the recipe, the overall taste is similar to mince pies. I don’t know anybody who makes their own puff pastry when it is so easy to buy frozen, so they are simple to make.

Eccles Cakes:
1 tblsp soft unsalted butter
4 tblsp soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon  
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup mixed peel 
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 orange
1 lb (about 400 grams) puff pastry
1 medium egg
Flour for dusting 
Small amount fine sugar to sprinkle

Mix all the filling ingredients together.

Roll out pastry to about 1/8 inch (about 3 mm) thick. Using cutter about 4” (10 cm) cut out 12 disks.

Place 1 heaped tsp of filling in the center of each disk. Brush edges with slightly beaten egg & draw pastry together to make a purse, squeezing tightly to seal.

Using the palm of your hand, flatten each cake until you can see the currants through the pastry. Place on a baking sheet, sealed side down. Brush with more beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar. Using a sharp knife make 3 parallel cuts on the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes till the pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.


Note: Bake in 425 deegrees F or 220 degrees C pre-heated oven.

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