For the pastry


  • STEP 1

    The night before, wrap the butter for the pastry in foil and freeze.

  • STEP 2

    The following day, tip your flour into a big bowl with 2 pinches of salt. Hold the butter block in the foil (peeling back a little at a time as you need), then coarsely grate straight into the bowl of flour, dipping the end of the butter into the flour every so often – this helps to stop all the butter clumping together. Use a round-bladed palette or cutlery knife, and lightly stir together. Stir in about 125ml cold water to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.

  • STEP 3

    To make the filling, melt the 50g butter, then mix in the muscovado sugar, currants, mixed peel, zest and spices. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 4

    Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a 20p piece. Use a 15cm cutter to stamp out 6 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings if necessary. Divide the filling equally and place in the middle of each round, then brush the edges with a bit of water. Pull up the edges all around each one and pinch to seal.

  • STEP 5

    Turn over the cakes so the seam is underneath, and lightly roll with a floured rolling pin to a flat-ish round. Re-shape to a neat round. Whisk the egg white with a fork until frothy. Use a pastry brush to brush it over the tops of the Eccles cakes, then sprinkle heavily with sugar. Slash the top of each cake 2-3 times to allow the steam to escape. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 mins until golden and crisp.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2014

Goes well with


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