“My best thanks for your Chorley Cakes, ladies, are due;
As I eat them, of course, I was thinking of you;
And strange twinges I felt while consuming the cakes,
I prized them so much for the kind givers’ sakes;
As your gifts they appeared things too precious to eat,
But alack! When I tasted I found them so sweet,
That I tasted and tasted, and again did I taste,
Till astonished I found I had eaten the last!”
Occasional Verses by E.W. (1862)
We travel back to Lancashire for these teatime treats, known as Chorley cakes (after the market town of Chorley). They are simple enough, a shortcut pastry filled with dried fruit—in this case, currants. Chorley Cakes are a close cousin of Eccles cakes which are usually made with puff pastry.
Despite their simplicity, or perhaps because of it, they make an ideal accompaniment to a mid-afternoon cup of tea. They are sweet, but not too sweet. The pastry should be flaky and buttery. Lancashire natives have been known to put a dab of butter on top, or serve with a bite of cheese, but the pastry on its own is quite sufficient. Chorley cakes keep for several days in an airtight container and also make an excellent breakfast pastry.
P.S. We now have a store at Society6 where you can order prints, mugs, tea trays and other fine products adorned with our lovely paintings… Visit the GBCooking store!