Banbury Cakes - Yum!
This is the beginning of a thirty day countdown to the launch of my next Renaissance Faire Mystery. The title is Treacherous Toys and it is set in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at a modern-day Ren Faire. The Faire is teeming with magicians, lords and ladies in their finery, knaves and almost any other creature you can imagine.
Mrs. Potts at the teashop there usually makes ginger cookies. But occasionally, she whips up some Banbury Cakes. The smell wafts across the cobblestones and brings in people from the castle to the jousting Field of Honor.
Ye Olde Recipe Banbury Cakes
These delicious little fruit-filled pastries were first mentioned in English text in 1586. They were originally sold in little baskets and wrapped in white cloths to keep them warm. The cakes have been made in Banbury since that time, inspiring poets to create sonnets for them. They are that good!
1 lb. puff pastry
2 oz. butter, melted
4 oz. raisins
4 oz. currants
2 oz. mixed peel
4 oz. coarsely ground brown sugar
1 level teaspoon mixed spices
Egg white and caster sugar (powdered sugar) for topping
Set Oven to 425F
Mix the melted butter, fruit, peel, sugar and spice together in a bowl, combining well.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and, using a saucer, cut into about 16 circles. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between them, then dampen the edges of the pastry circles and draw up into the centre, sealing well. Turn over and, with the hands, gently form the cakes into ovals, then press down very gently with a rolling pin.
Make 3 diagonal cuts across the top of each cake, then brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Place on lightly greased baking trays and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Serve slightly warm. Makes about 16.
Add some Renaissance to your day! Huzzah!
Book 5 in the Renaissance Faire Mysteries