Eccles Cakes

First made in North West England in 1793, Eccles cake is a small flat pastry filled with dried fruits and spices. Best eaten straight from the oven.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup dried currants

2 Tablespoons chopped candied mixed fruit peel

3/4 cup demerara sugar

3/4 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg white, beaten

1/4 cup white sugar for decoration

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Sprinkle a baking sheet with water.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  4. Stir in currants, mixed peel, demerara sugar and mixed spice.
  5. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fruit is well coated.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Cut out 8 (5 inch) circles, using a saucer as a guide.
  9. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between the circles.
  10. Moisten the edges of the pastry, pull the edges to the center and pinch to seal.
  11. Invert filled cakes on the floured surface and roll out gently to make a wider, flatter circle, but do not break the dough.
  12. Brush each cake with egg white and sprinkle generously with white sugar.
  13. Make three parallel cuts across the top of each cake, then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  14. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until golden.