Eccles cakes

It’s Saturday morning and I have a block of good quality puff pastry needing to be used up in the fridge. It’s a big day for the Rugby and my Dad will be sitting glued to the screen this afternoon. I know exactly how to turn this pastry into a mouthwatering treat that could put a smile on my Dads face no matter the score. Please do not compare these with any shop bought versions, they simple don’t compare. You will be amazed how easy they are to make… Come on ENGLAND!

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60g (2oz)butter
300g (11oz) dried currants
4 tablespoons chopped apricots (or candied peel)
100g (4oz) demerara sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
Grated zest of an orange
500g (18oz) packet of quality puff pastry.
1 egg white, beaten
4 tablespoons caster sugar for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7. Sprinkle a baking tray with water.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in currants, mixed peel, demerara sugar, mixed spice and orange zest. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fruit is well coated. Remove from heat.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 5mm thickness. Cut out eight 13cm 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 pastry.

4. Brush each cake with egg white and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Make three parallel cuts across the top of each cake, then place them on the prepared baking tray.

5. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until golden.
6. Best eaten while still warm. Freeze the rest and thaw and warm in the oven when needed.

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