LENA PRICE’S WELSH CAKES
Submitted by Bernie Cross, Lena’s grandson
Welsh cakes have been a staple of the Welsh culture since the mid-19th century.
In the Welsh language they are called “cage bach” or “picau ar y maen” but also, they are known as “Griddle Cakes”, “Welsh Tea Cakes” and “Welsh Miner Cakes”.
Similar to a scone, these cakes are typically eaten just so, without being spread with jam. They are sometimes eaten with butter.
The small compact shape of the stone-baked Welsh cakes made them perfect for miners to take down the pits and were often give the children when they went to school.
Unliked other local delicacies, Welsh cakes aren’t available commercially on a large scale outside of Wales, so you may not have had the pleasure of trying one yet.
Welsh families are known to pass on their secret recipes for the treat from generation to generation.
2 cups all—purpose flour
1/3 caster sugar (pulse granulated sugar in the blender a few times)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon MACE – do NOT substitute nutmeg.
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 oz. LARD (8 tablespoons) – Can use Crisco but the texture is not the same.
2 oz. butter – chilled and cubed.
1 egg – lightly beaten
½ cup currants*
2-3 tablespoons whole milk (Might need more)
*I have cheated and used raisins, but “Nan” would have scolded me severely – especially when I soak them in dark rum overnight!
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Cut in butter and lard by hand or with food processor. Mixture will look like coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the currants.
Bet the egg and add in, adding milk a teaspoon at a time to just form a soft dough. IT SHOULD NOT BE STICKY.
Wrap dough and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll out on a floured, non-stock surface to a ¼ inch thickness. (Too thin for me, I make them a bit thicker.)
Cut with a biscuit cutter or small jar.
Tradition says to fry in a cast iron plan with butter, but I have always used an electric griddle set at about 350-375°F. (Nan said that was okay.)
Dust hot cakes with granulated sugar.
Best served warm and they do reheat well in the microwave. (20 seconds at 30% power.)