One of the things I love most about England are the tasty cakes and bakes that you find over here. I confess that I fell in love with Eccles Cakes years ago when I lived on a British Army base in Suffield, Alberta, in Canada. There was a girl that used to bring them in every so often to the Ceramics Club I belonged to as a treat for us all.
What is not to love about something that is flakey and crumbly and stogged full of currents, raisins and butter. For me it was love at first bite.
I don't know why they call them cakes. They're not a cake. They're like a little hand held piece of heaven on earth.
A four bite piece of heaven on earth . . . with sugar on top . . . oozing little bits of juicy goodness and flakey pastry . . .
Makes about 24
300g good quality bought or homemade all butter
puff or flakey pastry
1 egg, beaten
For the Filling:
1 1/2 ounces butter, melted
1 1/2 ounces dried currents
1 1/2 ounces raisins
3 ounces soft light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 ounces mixed peel, chopped
the finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
about 2 TBS milk
2 or 3 TBS demerara sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix all the filling ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut into 3 1/4 inch rounds with a sharp round cutter. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling into the centre of each disc. Lightly brush the edges with beaten egg and bring the edges together into the centre, wrapping up the filling and pressing them firmly together. Turn over and flatten the disc ever so slightly between the palms of your hand until it is about 2 inches in diameter.
Brush the top with the milk and then sprinkle with the demerara sugar, or dip the tops into it if you find it easier. (that's what I did) Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps of pastry and cut until you have used it all up and all of the filling too. Cut several small slits in the top of each with a sharp knife.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. The currants and sugar will caramelize through the holes and they will be scrumptiously delicious.
Remove to a wire rack to cool and try NOT to eat them all at once!! (I know it's quite difficult!)