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Delia's Traditional Lancashire Eccles cakes
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For the Quick Flaky Pastry
75g block butter or block margarine
110 g plain flour
A pinch of salt
Cold water to mix
For the filling:
25g block butter
60g dark soft brown sugar
25g chopped mixed candied peel
Zest of ½ large or 1 small orange
½ level teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ nutmeg, freshly grated
For the topping:
1 egg white (to brush)
2 level tablespoons golden granulated sugar
A large baking sheet, with a liner or lightly greased
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
Begin by making the pastry as described in quick flaky pastry. Then leave it to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: melt the butter in a small saucepan, then take it off the heat and stir in all the other filling ingredients quite thoroughly, and leave it to cool.
Now roll out the pastry as described in quick flaky pastry to form an rectangle approximately 40cm by 16cm. Turn the rectangle lengthways in front of you and cut it into two lengthways then cut each length evenly into five 8cm squares.
Arrange a heaped teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of each square. Using a pastry brush dampen the edge of each square of pastry with water, then turn the corners inwards and seal them together. Turn each Eccles cake the other way up so the seals are underneath, dust the surface with a little flour, then just shape it into a round with your hands.
Using a sharp knife make three slashes across each one and finally brush them with egg white and sprinkle with sugar then arrange then so they are evenly spread out on the lined baking sheet. Bake them on a highish shelf for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight tin. They also freeze beautifully for up to a month.
In Lancashire it’s traditional to serve Eccles cakes with creamy Lancashire cheese.
This recipe was first published in December 2013.