Eccles cakes and cheese is one combination that surprises everyone who tries it (in a good way). It just works.
First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (non-stick greaseproof) – no need to grease.
Make the filling – first, place the butter and sugar together in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once they are just melted, pour them over your dried fruit and spice, then mix everything together.
Find something you can use as a cutter that’s about 10cm in diameter – I used a small bowl. Roll out your puff pastry until it is no thicker than a pound coin.
Cut a circle using your cutter then add a sizeable dollop of your filling. Gather the sides of your circle up and pinch everything together at the top to seal. Turn the parcel so the smooth side is on top and place it on your prepared tray. Repeat until you’ve no more pastry left (it’s okay to re-roll).
Make 3 small slashes on each parcel (to represent the holy trinity) and brush with a touch of milk. Finally, sprinkle some caster sugar over the milk. Place in your oven and bake for at least 20-25 minutes; they should be golden brown and the pastry totally crisp all the way around.
Leave to cool, if you can. The filling will be superheated straight out the oven. When nearing room temperature, serve with a cheese of your choice for afternoon tea or as an alternative to dessert.
- For a stunning, deep brown shine, brush your pastry using only the yolk of your egg mixed with a little pinch of salt.
- For an extra-moist centre and a wee boozy kick, soak your dried fruit in your favourite tipple overnight.