Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Welsh Tea Cakes

Servings: Makes 20-25 tea cakes
The Welsh name for welsh cakes is "teisen lap" (tea 'ion lap) which means "plate cake". It is traditionally cooked on a "maern"(pronounced marn), which is a half-inch thick piece of cast iron placed on the fire or cooker. A heavy frying pan or griddle will do.

Welsh cakes are great eaten hot or cold, with or without butter. I usually make a double batch because they are eaten up so fast. But to store them, allow to go cold and place in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week.

8 oz. self-rising flour
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) butter or margarine
3 oz. currants, raisins, or sultanas
3 oz. granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (if you can't find mixed spice at your local market, use a combination of ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, and ground cloves)

To cook these you really need the traditional heavy, flat, iron pan (sometimes called a griddle or girdle). However, a good solid heavy frying pan, with a flat base, will do.

Sift the dry ingredients together, then rub in the butter or margarine as you would if you were making pie dough.

When the mixture becomes crumbly, add the raisins (or currants or sultanas) and mix them in thoroughly.

Beat the egg lightly and add it to the mixture. Mix as if you were making a pie dough. If the mixture seems a little too dry, add just a tablespoon of milk.

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch (6.5-7 cm) cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds, re-rolling the trimmings until all the dough is used.

Lightly grease the thick heavy pan, using a piece of paper towel smeared with lard or solid vegetable shortening.

Heat the pan over a medium heat and cook the Welsh Cakes for about 3 minutes on each side. If they look as if they're browning too quickly, turn the heat down a bit because it's important to cook them through, but they should be fairly brown and crisp on the outside.

Serve them warm, with lots of butter, homemade jam and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Serve with tea or coffee.

Makes 20-25 tea cakes.

Date: May 28, 2003