Eccles Cakes

Over 500 years of age and still going strong.  I remember enjoying an Eccles cake at work with my coffee - that was my first ever job nearly 50 years ago.   This recipe is simple yet delicious and I often make a few with left over puff pastry.


Start by placing the currants, lemon zest, sugar and juice in a small bowl then pour over the boiling water.  Leave to allow the currants to plump up and absorb the liquid.  I leave mine overnight where possible but a couple of hours or until the water cools is fine.  If you decide to add a little elderflower cordial then reduce the sugar in the recipe by 20g (ie use just 10g)

Roll out the pastry very thinly and cut out 9-10 circles using a 10cm cutter. – rerolling the trimmings as you go.

Place a heaped teaspoon of the currant mixture into the centre of each circle, dampen the edges slightly if you find it necessary then draw the pastry edges together forming a purse. I find the fat in the pastry will help the little purses to seal.

On a floured surface {or directly onto the lined baking sheet), turn the pastry parcel upside down with the joins to the bottom then lightly roll the upper side, forming a circle and allowing the currants just to show under the surface.  Chill until the oven comes to temperature.

Place the cakes on a baking sheet lightly greased.  Brush with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Using a pizza cutter make 3 slashes on each cake.

Bake in a hot oven 200°C fan  for 15-20 minutes until the cakes are dark golden brown.

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