Traditional Lancashire Eccles Cakes
|For the Quick Flaky Pastry|
|75g block butter or margarine|
|110g plain flour|
|a pinch of salt|
|Cold water to mix|
|For the filling:|
|25g block butter|
|60g dark soft brown sugar|
|25g chopped mixed candied peel|
|zest of ½ large or 1 small orange|
|0.5 level teaspoon ground allspice|
|⅛ nutmeg, freshly grated|
|For the topping:|
|2 level tablespoons golden granulated sugar|
|Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6|
|Need help with conversions?|
|Equipment: A large baking sheet, with a liner or lightly greased|
Recipe adapted from Delia’s Cakes
Begin by making the pastry as described in quick flaky pastry. 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 (link) 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.
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These have been a huge success with everyone who has tasted them, and because they’re cooked on top of the stove, children (with supervision) love making them. Serve them warm with lots of butter, and later on they’re very good toasted.
Rumour has it that these delectable little curd cheese tarts were named after the maids of honour who served at Richmond Palace in the 16th century. True or not, they taste wonderful.
These were once economy cakes, not too expensive, providing cake for large families. They were not going to be included in this edition – until, that is, we made some. And unbelievably they went down a storm. Perhaps we’ve got so used to bland shop-bought
This classic yeasty, fruity tea bread is traditional in Wales. During her Welsh childhood, Delia remembers it being spread with lots of butter at teatime. Easy and cheap to make, it keeps well and is a real treat.
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