Thursday 18 March 2010

Strawberry buns

These were inspired by reading the Caked Crusader's recent 'History Corner' post about Richmond cakes. I had a vague memory of reading the post and thinking how interesting it was. Sadly I don't have any antique cookery books, but I do have Cakes Regional and Traditional, by Julie Duff. I think that's a pretty good second option to genuine antique cookery books! The book is a fabulous collection of many cakes and biscuits (in the British rather than US sense of the word) traditionally baked in many regions around the UK. The research is really interesting and each recipe is prefaced by some background detail about why, where and how it was made. I love those kind of details, they make the recipes seem more alive, and you can imagine mothers and grandmothers throughout the country baking treats for their family tea-time or to celebrate special, often religious occasions.

I don't know exactly why my eye was drawn to this bun recipe, but I have an abundance of jam at the moment and had all the other ingredients too. Part of its appeal was definitely due to its simplicity - no need for expensive or exotic ingredients to make this quick little treat. I also enjoyed shaping the buns, it wasn't difficult at all, and it gave a satisfying sense of achievement....

225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g butter
75g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
A little milk
Jam of choice - raspberry is specified, I had strawberry open so used that - use your own homemade, or go exotic with ginger conserve or even marmalade.
A little extra milk and caster sugar

- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter until you get a mixture looking like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
- Add the beaten egg and enough milk to form a soft dough.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll them into balls.
- Flatten the ball into the palm of your hand so it's sort of cup shaped, and then add a little jam. I used about 1/2 tsp for each one - too much and you can't close them.
- Dab a little milk around the edges of the circle and close the dough over the jam.
- Turn seam side down and put on the baking tray. Repeat....
- Brush a little milk over the buns and sprinkle with caster sugar - I often forget this step, but it really helps to make these buns.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack, but if you just can't wait and want them hot from the oven remember that the jam will be scorchingly hot!

I really enjoyed these - soft cakey bun with a lovely strawberry centre. I think they'd be good with lots of different kinds of jam - gooseberry jam perhaps for a quintessentially English twist. It was only after I'd eaten a few (ahem..) that I realised that the flavour I was expecting was vanilla, because this kind of cake is so often flavoured with vanilla. It was quite a refreshing change to let the other flavours come through. Brushing with milk and sprinkling with caster sugar adds a lovely crunchy finish and I'm really glad I didn't forget to do it. Don't worry if you don't have a pastry brush, I couldn't find mine and just used the end of my finger!

I really hope you enjoy these - simple, but perfect to accompany a cup of tea.


Chele said...

They look great and sound really interesting too. I'm like you, I love the history behind a recipe. Just imagine if we could own some antique cook books - the stories those pages could tell!

Lucie said...

These look so lovely! I shall keep these in mind to do when wimbledon is on :) Lucie x

Rhyleysgranny said...

What a great recipe. I immediately thought of all sorts of fillings. Lemon curd and philli cheese? Lemon cheesecakes buns. I will definitly be giving these a go. You pic is lovely x

Suelle said...

The recipe looks very similar to an enriched scone dough. Interesting concept to have the jam already baked into them, if you wanted to serve them with clotted cream!

Caroline said...

Suelle, yes, I suppose they are rather like an enriched scone - sweeter and with more butter than my usual scone recipe. I think they probably would be good with clotted cream!

Rhyleysgranny - lemon curd sounds nice, you'll have to let me know if you try them, the cheesecake idea is definitely interesting!

Thanks for your comments.

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

C, thanks for this recipe! We make our own jam, so we always have a glut at home - I'm always on the lookout for recipes to cook with jam. :)

Katie said...

These sound wonderful. A similar making/filling style to eccles cakes. Somtimes its the simplest recipes that produce the best results

Choclette said...

These sounds great - I really like the idea of the jam hidden inside. I've got some plum jam that needs eating up - hummm! This book sounds as though it might be worth getting.

The Caked Crusader said...

I started drooling at the picture before reading I was the inspiration - now I'm doubly proud. Your strawberry buns look amazing.
There are lots of modern books gathering together old recipes - I love them all! There's something so nostalgic about knowing you're baking a cake that your granny or great granny may also have made


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