Citrus Eccles Cakes
I was feeling particularly bored today, so I decided to do a spot of cooking. My parents are on holiday and I couldn't be bothered to cycle to the shops, so I didn't have many ingredients to work with. I had the stuff for 90% of this recipe though, and I improvised the rest - and they've come out pretty damn well (surprisingly).
For the pastry:
- 175g (6oz) Unsalted Butter
- 225g (8oz) Plain White Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1tsp Lemon Juice
For the filling:
- 175g (6oz) Currants
- 50g (2oz) Chopped Mixed Peel (I didn't have this, so I just grated a couple of oranges)
- 50g (2oz) Muscovado Sugar (Didn't have this either, regular brown sugar seemed to work fine)
- Grated Rind of 2 Lemons (Didn't have this, I just used a few teaspoons of lemon juice)
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Caster Sugar
- 50g (2oz) Unsalted Butter
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Cut the butter up into dice-sized pieces and dump it into the bowl along with the lemon juice and 100ml of iced water. At this point, you may wish to try adding a Canon Powershot A70 digital camera to the mix for a few seconds... I did, and you can definitely taste it.
- Use a butter knife to mix everything up until you have a soft dough.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface so that it's about 30cm * 10cm. Despite all appearances to the contrary, this table really is very clean. I swear.
- This bit was fun. Fold the top and bottom thirds into the middle. Rotate the dough 45degrees and roll out to 30cm * 10cm again. Repeat this 4 times, and then wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and shove it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Use this time to prepare the filling, by mixing the peel, brown sugar, and lemon rind together. Now is also a good time to get the oven on, at 220C (425F).
- I found this bit very difficult. Take half of the dough and roll it out to make a 50cm * 20cm rectangle. The recipe now says to cut this in half lengthwise, and then to cut each strip into 5 parts, but I found I only had enough dough for 4. Then, cut a line of three 2cm slits along the middle of each part. Make three more rows of slits either side of the middle row, but offset them to produce a lattice effect (think how bricks are offset in buildings).
- Paint the beaten egg around the outside of each square.
- Dump some of the filling mixture in the centre of each square. Keep in mind that this is only half of the dough, and you are going to be doing the same with the rest in a minute.
- Another difficult bit. Fold the sides up to enclose the filling and squeeze the seams shut. Then turn the whole thing upside down, shove it on a greased baking tray, paint the top with egg, and sprinkle on a little brown sugar. Repeat all this for the other half of the dough to make another 8 or so cakes. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Ta da! They're horribly mis-shapen because I used crappy 'butter' and too much water, so my dough was wet and sticky and yuck. They taste beautiful though. To finish them off, melt a little butter and pour some into each cake, and then dust with caster sugar.
- Mmmmmmmmmm. I'd love to hear if anyone else gives this a go.