|Eccles Cakes … time-consuming, but worth every mouthful!|
To Prepare the Filling:
1-½ tbsp. butter
2 tsp. light brown sugar
¾ c. currants
3 tbsp. mixed candied peel
¼ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. allspice
Milk, as required
Crystalline white sugar, as required
Melt butter over medium-low heat in small saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients except cream and sugar. Cool thoroughly and set aside.
To Prepare the Pastry:
One 14-oz. (397 g) pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 425 deg. F. Cut block of pastry horizontally in half. Roll very thinly on a well floured work surface using a well floured rolling pin. Cut into rounds with 3-½ in. cookie cutter. Working with several rounds at a time, assembly-line style, place 1 tsp. filling mixture into center of each round.
Lightly dampen edges of each pastry round with wet finger, gathering edges together as a small bundle. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Flatten each cookie with palms to form a smaller round. Place on floured work surface seam-side down. Gently flatten tops to form thinner rounds with rolling pin.
Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a sharp paring knife to slice three small slits into top crust of each cookie. Dab with milk, sprinkling generously with crystalline sugar. Bake 13-to-15 min. Do not over-bake! Cool on wire rack. Makes about 32 Eccles Cakes.
Note: These freeze well before or after baking. They are exceptionally good, and would make a delicious bite-sized treat for New Year’s Eve - especially with a glass of crisp champagne.
|Roll pastry very thinly and cut into rounds.|
|Save and re-roll the scraps.|
|Add dried peel to center. Dab edges with water.|
|Pinch up dampened edges to gather into a small ball.|
|Roll out the fruited pastry rounds.|
|A closer view of two rolled cookies or “cakes.”|
|Make three small slices with a sharp knife.|
|Dab with milk.|
|Add a generous sprinkling of sugar. Bake.|