Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Pear-fect Pastries!

Piccole Pasticini di Pera, Uva Secca e Cannella
Pear, Raisin & Cinnamon Eccles Cakes

The most wonderful thing about Eccles cakes is that they are simple to make as they look! Small, perfect, little pastries, easy and quick and easily improvised out of any number of possible fillings other than the traditional blueberries, these were my little treat this evening! And who knew that the left-over puff pastry from yesterday evening could be turned into something as yummy as this?!?

I had a square of pastry which was roughly 12" x 12"... which is not much. It wasn't really enough to make another pie, but was at the same time a large enough piece that I thought it would be a shame to let go to waste... Never! I decided to cut it into quarters and make 4 little snacks instead... with a filling of pear, raisins and cinnamon- how could I go wrong? Well... I couldn't! As you can well see!

These little cakes were ultra-easy to make. I turned on the oven to have it nice and hot in 10 minutes time- that's all it took in prep time. Because all I needed to do was to peel and dice the pear, lace it with cinnamon, a little lemon, a splash of brandy (optional) and a pinch of nutmeg... then add a handful of raisins and stir everything together. That's it... filling prepared! It's a simple as that! No added sugar, butter or anything other than the fruit itself- trust me- these will be way sweet enough and you will love them!

I put about a tablespoon of filling into the middle of each square of pastry and then folded the edges together and sealed everything into a parcel, which I then flipped over and patted into shape, so that all 4 of the little Eccles cakes looks the same. I made a cross-shaped cut into the top of each cake, to let out the steam which would build up in the oven, where they were to spend the next 15 minutes at 350°F. 

15 minutes later- you guessed it... out they came to get a light drizzle of honey, before going back under the broiler for a final 2-3 minutes to become a luscious golden brown... mmm! And yes of course they are very simple- but you will be amazed at how sweet they are without being cloying, at how flavorful they are without having any artificial flavorings added... and at how you can eat  2-3 of these in next to no time, without even noticing! Or feeling guilty! So go ahead... and enjoy!

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