Saturday, 6 June 2009

Eccles cakes

I was pretty surprised last week to harvest the first ripe strawberries of the season but I was more surprised today when I discovered a few ripe raspberries! I've also eaten 2 portions of mangetout already and the broad beans are about a week away from being ready. I'm thinking I'm very close to not having to buy veg from the supermarket. So with impending gluts it is time to really step up the using up of last years' preserves and frozen stuff. The frozen stuff is pretty much gone now anyway but there are still quite a lot of jars cluttering up my cupboards.

So, how do I use up mincemeat at the beginning of June? It's not as bad as it seems actually as it can be used to add flavour to flapjacks and cakes but in a moment of inspiration I decided to make Eccles Cakes. This came about because I had made a stack of sausage rolls and had a bit of ready made puff pastry left over. What is an Eccles Cake anyway if not a combination of dried fruit and pastry? Well, I'm sure there is a bit more to it than that but this recipe is a close approximation and a great use of mincemeat in June!

Eccles Cakes

Puff pastry
Granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 220°C, gas 7 and grease a baking tray. Use a plain 10cm cutter to cut out circles of pastry. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into the centre of each circle of pastry. Use a pastry brush to brush the edge of the pastry circle with water then fold the pastry over to wrap the mincement inside. Turn the pastry bundle over and gently flatten the parcel with a rolling pin. Place the parcel on a baking tray and gash it 3 times with a sharp knife. Brush with water and sprinkle over with granulated sugar. Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack and eat up within two days.

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