The English Eccles Cake is named for the town of Eccles in Lancashire, and was a popular pastry in the seventeenth century. However, these cakes were banned (along with mince pies) by the Puritans in 1650. In fact, Oliver Cromwell decreed in an act of Parliament that anyone found eating a currant pie would be imprisoned. Luckily, by the time of the Restoration, the cakes were once again popular.
50 g unsalted butter
150 g dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped candied mixed fruit peel
50 g white sugar
1/3 teaspoon mixed spice
1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250 g frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg white, beaten
4 tablespoons caster sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 220 ˚C.and grease a baking tray.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in currants, mixed peel, white sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fruit is well coated. Remove from heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 5mm thickness. Cut out eight 13 cm circles, using a saucer as a guide. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between the circles. Moisten the edges of the pastry, pull the edges to the centre and pinch to seal. Invert filled cakes on the floured surface and roll out gently to make a wider, flatter circle, but do not break the pastry.
Brush each cake with egg white and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Make three parallel cuts across the top of each cake, then place them on the prepared baking tray.
Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until golden.
This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.