Celebrating British Food & Cooking
Eccles cakes sometimes known as squashed-fly cakes are traditional puff pastry wrapped pies similar to turnovers, filled with currants and topped with coarse brown sugar.
The cakes first went on sale in 1793, in the town of Eccles, now part of Salford in Greater Manchester. The world’s largest producer, Real Lancashire Eccles cakes, is located 5 miles down the road from their birthplace and turns out 600,000 a week, all handmade.
Made and sold in Lancashire for centuries, they have always been popular as the picture below shows.
Unlike other mass-produced versions, the proper recipe uses butter and other high-quality rich ingredients which don’t lend themselves to mass production. If you try one and the pastry sticks to the roof of your mouth, they have substituted fat for the butter.
An Eccles cake goes really well with a cup of tea, so get your hands on a proper one or have a go at making some yourself.
Other Recipes You Maybe Interested in …..
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dried currants
- 2 tablespoons chopped candied mixed fruit peel
- ¾ cup demerara sugar
- ¾ teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ 17.5 ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg white beaten
- ¼ cup white sugar for decoration
- Preheat oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/425°F. Sprinkle a baking sheet with water.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in currants, mixed peel, demerara sugar and mixed spice. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fruit is well coated. Remove from heat.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 8 (5 inch) circles, using a saucer as a guide. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between the circles. Moisten the edges of the pastry, pull the edges to the centre and pinch to seal. Invert filled cakes on the floured surface and roll out gently to make a wider, flatter circle, but do not break the dough.
- Brush each cake with egg white and sprinkle generously with white sugar. Make three parallel cuts across the top of each cake, then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until golden.