3 sheets pre-rolled butter puff pastry (25cm x 25cm)
1 egg, beaten
raw sugar, for sprinkling
icing sugar, for dusting
60 grams butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon marsala, brandy or whisky, optional
1 tablespoon glace mixed peel, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup currants
1 crisp apple, peeled, cored and chopped ½cm pieces (I used braeburn)
2 tablespoons cornflour
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake.
Filling: Put the butter, sugar, marsala, mixed peel and both spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes then stir in the currants. Cook for 1 minute then transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in the diced apple. Sift over the cornflour and combine everything together. Cool completely.
To assemble: Lay the pastry sheets out on a clean surface dusted with a little flour. Stamp out 4 x 12cm-diameter circles from each sheet of pastry.
Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the centre of each round, then brush the edges with water. Bring the edges together, then gather up the pastry into a purse shape, squeezing to seal.
Turn the eccles cake upside down so the smooth top is upwards and pat them into a smooth round. Flatten each round with a rolling pin until the fruit just starts to poke through, but doesn't break the pastry.
Place on a lined baking tray. Brush with beaten egg then sprinkle with sugar. Make 3 small cuts with a pair of scissors or a small knife. Chill until the pastry is very firm.
Bake for 18–20 minutes until golden and the pastry is crisp.
Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar. Makes 12