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    Heston's banbury cakes

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    Heston's banbury cakes

    Dating from at least the 16th century, this classic English flat pastry has a wonderfully complex flavour – fruity,spicy and fragrant all at once. Served with a ramekin full of rich potted Stilton, it’s the perfect teatime treat this Easter. Heston

    Makes: 15


    80g unsalted butter
    120g caster sugar
    170g currants
    25ml sherry vinegar
    1g powdered clove
    1g nutmeg
    1g cinnamon
    Zest of 1 orange
    25g Amontillado sherry
    1g orange flower water
    35g mixed peel
    500g pack puff pastry
    Egg wash (1 Waitrose British
    Blacktail Free Range Egg yolkbeaten with 2 tsp milk)

    For the potted stilton

    100g Stilton cheese
    35g mascarpone cheese
    90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1g salt
    1tsp sherry vinegar
    30g Pedro Ximenez sherry


    1. For the Banbury cake, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and heat until the mixture begins to bubble.

    2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the currants, vinegar and spices. Allow to cool a little and add the zest, sherry, orange flower water and mixed peel. Stir thoroughly and set to one side.

    3. Roll out the pastry on a cold surface to 3mm thick. Cut out circles using a 15cm pastry cutter and brush the circles with egg wash. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the circles and fold in the pastry to cover the filling. Press together to seal then turn each cake over and slash the top with a knife 3 times.

    4. Rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge then brush the surface with egg wash again. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden and cooked.

    5. For the potted Stilton: put the Stilton, mascarpone, butter and salt into a bowl and blitz with a hand-held blender until it becomes a smooth and homogenous mixture. Gently warm 55g water and the sherry vinegar together then slowly add this mixture to the cheese. Pour in the PX sherry and mix carefully.

    6. Decant into small ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Take the ramekins out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving with the Banbury cakes.

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