Saturday, November 2, 2013

Welsh Cakes

Recipes hold cherished memories. Publishing my mother’s Crumb Cookies recipe not too long ago reminded me of a recipe that my dear friends Don and Lorna Blake 
Not exactly Don Blake’s grandmother, 
but close enough
once gave me. It originates with Don’s Welsh grandmother, the late Frances Edith Hanna Brown. 

Welsh Cakes:

1-½ c. all-purpose flour          
⅓ c. granulated sugar 
¾ tsp. salt 
¾ tsp. baking powder 
¼ tsp. baking soda 
¼ tsp. nutmeg                 
¼ c. lard or shortening
¼ c. butter, softened
½ c. currants, plumped and drained (see Note)
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 egg
¼ c. milk
Additional butter and sugar, for serving

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Rub in lard or shortening together with butter until mixture resembles a fine meal. Add currants and lemon rind. In separate bowl, beat egg, adding milk. Make a “well” in dry ingredients. Add liquids all at once. Using as few strokes as possible, stir in to form soft dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll to ¼-in. thickness. Cut with round cookie cutter. Drop on ungreased griddle at medium heat, or use electric frying pan set at 350 deg. F. Cook until slightly puffed and browned on bottom. Turn and brown second side. Serve warm or cold with butter, sprinkling with sugar. Makes about a dozen 3-in. rounds.

Nicole’s Note: To plump currants, see Index for How to Plump Dried Fruits. Craisins - cranberry-raisins - were unknown in Frances Brown’s day. Currants are traditional in Welsh Cakes, but you may want to try craisins or a little candied peel, instead.

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