The modest but irresistable Eccles cake has been a regional speciality in England since the late 1700′s, first being sold by a shopkeeper in Eccles, Greater Manchester and eventually being exported around the world.  My mum says she used to make these a lot when we were little although they have only this week made their debut in my kitchen. Having thought they might be quite a fiddle to make, they are suprisingly simple. We made our own butter puff pastry (although shop bought versions are acceptable) and filled them with a punchy filling of vine fruits, sugar and citrus zest. The ‘cakes’ are then roughly crimped, flattened, sugared and baked. These replete little pastries are quite a meal in themselves, either with strong coffee at breakfast time or with a slice of tangy Lancashire cheese for lunch.

Eccles cakes on cooling rack



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