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Traditional Lancashire Eccles Cakes

Eccles cakes are pastries really, but have always been referred to as cakes.  Traditionally in Eccles they were served with Lancashire cheese and this has been revived in some of our smarter restaurants and served in place of dessert.  I think a lump of Mrs. Kirkham's Lancashire cheese and an Eccles cake on a journey or at a picnic really hits the spot.

You can now watch how to make Eccles cakes in our Cookery School Term Pastry, Flour Based Sauces and Batters - 'Quick Flaky Pastry' video lesson below

Recipe adapted from Delia’s Cakes Makes 10

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  • method
  • Ingredients

Method

Begin by making the pastry as described in the Quick Flaky Pastry recipe and video below. Then leave it to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preparing the filling: melt the butter in a small saucepan, then take it off the heat and stir in all the other filling ingredients quite thoroughly, and leave it to cool.

Now roll out the pastry as described in quick flaky pastry to form an rectangle approximately 40cm by 16cm. Turn the rectangle lengthways in front of you and cut it into two lengthways then cut each length evenly into five 8m squares.

Arrange a heaped teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of each square, using a pastry brush dampen the edge of each square of pastry with water, then turn the corners inwards and seal them together.

Turn each Eccles cake the other way up so the seals are underneath, dust the surface with a little flour, then just shape it into a round with your hands.

Using a sharp knife make three slashes across each one and finally brush them with egg white and sprinkle with sugar then arrange then so they are evenly spread out on the lined baking sheet. Bake them on a high-ish shelf for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight tin.

They also freeze beautifully for up to a month.

In Lancashire it’s traditional to serve Eccles cakes with creamy Lancashire cheese.
 

Additional

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6

Equipment

Equipment: A large baking sheet, with a liner or lightly greased.

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