Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eccles Cakes

This delicious little pastry originated in the town of Eccles, England. It is a favorite of my family, and one I wanted to share with friends. Just last weekend, I made a batch of these cakes for a reception at the Denver Woman’s Press Club. The event was the finale to the Unknown Writers’ Competition. Winners came to the podium to read their winning entry, and then enjoyed afternoon tea supplied by DWPC members. For those ladies who enjoyed the treats, please follow my blog for the recipes.  

8 oz. puff pastry - your own recipe, or Pepperidge Farm works well.  (Safeway)
2 oz. butter
2 oz. sugar
2 oz. sultanas (Safeway)
2 oz. currants (Safeway)
2 oz. candied peel (if you like it)
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
Pinch of mixed spice 

Roll the pastry out until it’s about the thickness of a quarter, cut into rounds. I use the largest of my cutters, about 4” in diameter, but you can obviously make them larger or smaller to suit your needs. 

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl; add the rest of the ingredients. Place about one tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the round, and gather the edges (as though it were a drawstring purse – this holds the mixture inside. Then flip the “cake” over, so the “gathered” part is underneath. Using a rolling pin, roll the cake flat – don’t worry, the cake will rise during baking. Score the top with a sharp knife, so the mixture shows through...and brush with beaten egg. Shake a little sugar on the top and bake in a hot oven 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.