Welsh Cakes

I bought these lovely little cakes from a bakery stand at the Swiss Cottage Farmers’ Market.  They remind me of something that might be eaten by Hobbits in Lord of the Rings.  They’re small (about 2 to 3 inches in diameter), dotted with currants and dusted with sugar.  Cooked on a griddle, they somewhat resemble tiny pancakes. Very traditional in Wales, they were originally cooked on heated stones and often served to travelers upon their arrival at an inn. They’re quite simple to make and very nice for afternoon tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 TB unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup dried currants (or raisins) – optional
  • 6 TB caster (superfine) sugar (plus extra for dusting cakes)
  • milk (as needed to wet dough)

Mix flour and salt well in a medium bowl. Using your fingers (or a pastry cutter), rub the butter into the flour until it forms a coarse, even mixture resembling corn meal. Mix in the egg.  Stir in dried currants and sugar. Add  milk as needed to form a fairly stiff dough that you can shape into a ball. Roll out pastry onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick and  cut out 2″-3″ rounds using a small pastry cutter.  Cook on a heavy iron griddle that has been greased with butter, over medium heat, for about 3 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove from griddle and sprinkle with sugar while still warm. Best served warm, with butter and/or jam.

[Recipe inspired by Welsh Teatime Recipes and the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.]

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