Easy Eccles Cakes

Easy Eccles Cakes
A true Manchester favourite, these authentic Eccles cakes are made with puff or flaky pastry. Packed with fruit, they make a delicious snack with a cup of tea or on their own.

Many people shy away from the idea of making their own pastry, but if this is you then we’ve good news. You can buy puff pastry ready-made in shops, meaning these cakes can be ready in under an hour.

Eccles cakes are not to be confused with Chorley cakes, which use many of the same ingredients but are made with shortcrust pastry. Get them confused and you’ll be a laughing stock among the locals.

What you’ll need

  • 30 grams butter
  • 150 grams dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons candied fruit peel, chopped
  • 50 grams Demerara sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 500g shop-bought puff pastry
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Caster sugar for decorating, flour for dusting

Also:

  • 1 baking tray
  • 1 rolling pin
  • 1 circular pastry cutter, roughly 13 centimetres wide
  • 1 pastry brush
  • 1 small saucepan

How to bake Eccles Cakes

    1. Set your oven to Gas Mark 7/220C and sprinkle a baking tray with water.
    2. Melt the butter in the saucepan and stir in the currants, mixed spice, candied peel and sugar until all the sugar is dissolved and all the fruit covered.
    3. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out your pastry until it is around 5mm thick.
    4. This thickness is vital, as if it’s too thin your cakes will fall apart and if it’s too thick the dough will not be fully cooked.
    5. Cut out eight circles.
    6. Place a small amount of fruit at the centre of each circle. You will be folding the edges in so don’t cover the whole thing.
    7. Fold the edges of the dough into the middle and pinch everything together in the middle.
    8. Flip the cakes over and very gently roll them so they become a little flatter. Be extra careful not to break the pastry.
    9. Brush the top of each cake with your beaten egg white and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar.
    10. Make two or three small parallel cuts across the top of each one and place them on the baking tray.
    11. Cook for 15 minutes. A good way to see if your cakes are ready is to check to see if they are golden brown on top.
    12. Easy Eccles Cakes

Our thanks to BBC Food for allowing us to use their recipe here.
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