As promised the answer to the question, where did I get my latest bears name "Eccles" from?
As early as 1818 they were said to be sold "at all the markets and fairs around and are even exported to America and the West Indies". Whatever the origins of the cakes, James Birch was certainly the first person credited with selling them on a commercial basis. They were sold from a shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary’s Road (now known as Church Street) in Eccles. Eccles Cakes are sometimes, though always with affection, referred to as 'dead fly pies'
This is a good recipe for Traditional Eccles Cakes.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes Pre-heat oven to 220°C
- 500g flaky pastry
- 25g melted butter
- 50g candied peel
- 100g sugar
- 200g currants
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and butter and cook over a medium heat until melted
- Off the heat, add currants, candied peel, nutmeg and allspice
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll the pastry thinly and cut into rounds of about 0.5cm thickness and 10cm diameter
- Place a small spoonful of filling onto centre of each pastry circle
- Dampen the edges of the pastry and draw the edges together over the fruit and pinch to seal
- Turn over, then press gently with a rolling pin to flatten the cakes
- Flatten and snip a V in the top with scissors. Place on a baking tray
- Brush with water and sprinkle with a little extra sugar
- Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes (220°C) or until lightly browned round the edges
- Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Try not to eat them all at once!