Mistress Hill’s Cakes

This is an old recipe from the days when all cake recipes seemed to start with ‘take 3 pounds of flour’. . . However, this recipe has been cut down to today’s proportions, and the cakes resemble biscuits .


4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

8 oz. flour, sifted

6 oz. sugar

2 egg yolks grated rind of

2 lemons

Using the teaspoon of butter grease two large baking sheets and set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com- bine the flour and sugar. Add the remaining butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and lemon rind to the flour mixture and stir them in with the table knife. Using your hands, work the mixture to form a smooth dough. Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Break off small pieces of the dough and roll them between your hands to form 1- inch ball shapes. Place the balls of dough on the baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with the prongs of a fork.

Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the cakes for 15 minutes or until the edges are pale brown.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cakes in an airtight tin or serve immediately.

Mistress Hill’s Cakes were adapted frorri a very old recipe, and are flavoured with freshly grated lemon rind. Serve them with tea or coffee.

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