50 g butter
100 g light muscovado sugar
175 g currants
50 g mixed peel
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground cloves
1 egg white
2 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling
FOR THE PASTRY
225 g plain flour
175 g butter, wrapped in foil and frozen (see comment)
- For the pastry, 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.
- 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.
- Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a 20 cent 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.
- 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.