Shrove Tuesday Buns

These almond-flavoured buns require a little attention after they are cooked; the soft crumbs are removed from the centres of the buns and mixed with milk, almonds and sugar. The mixture is then returned to the cavity, the buns served and no one will guess the surprise they contain until they bite into them.

If you wish, the buns may be warmed after filling and served dusted with icing sugar.

Traditionally Shrove Tuesday Buns were made, like pancakes, just before Lent to use up food in the store cupboard.

1 oz. fresh yeast

3 oz. plus

½ teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons lukewarm water

12 oz. flour

2 tablespoons ground almonds

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon salt

6 fl. oz. single cream , lukewarm

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 egg yolk, beaten with

1 tablespoon milk

3 fl. oz. milk

2 oz. ground almonds

2 oz. sugar

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the ½ teaspoon of sugar with a kitchen fork. Add the water and cream the water and yeast together to make a smooth paste.

Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour, ground almonds, card-amom, salt and the remaining sugar into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast, cream and eggs. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquids. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 10 minutes, rcflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth and set it in a warm, draught-free place. Leave it for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for 4 minutes. Break the dough into 16 pieces and roll them between your hands to form smooth balls. Place the balls, well spaced apart, on two baking sheets and return them to a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450 F (Gas Mark 8, 230 C). Using a pastry brush, coat the buns with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake FOR 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to fairly hot

375°F (Gas MARK 5, 190 deg C) and continue baking for a further

5 minutes.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven, tip the buns off the sheets and rap the undersides with your knuckles. If the buns sound hollow, like a drum, they are cooked. If they do not sound hollow, lower the oven temperature to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170 C), return the buns, upside-down, to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Set the buns aside on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the milk, almonds and sugar.

Using a sharp knife, almost slice off the bottoms of the buns. With a teaspoon, scrape out the soft crumbs from the buns and add them to the filling mixture. Using a kitchen fork, mash the crumbs into the filling mixture until they are thoroughly combined. Spoon the filling into the buns, reshape them and place on a serving dish. Set the buns aside for 15 minutes, to allow the filling to swell slightly, before serving.


Shrub is a sweetened alcoholic drink, at one time a popular English commercial beverage, which is now more often made at home.

It consists of gin, or a similar alcoholic liquor, fruit juice, citrus rind and sugar which are combined, bottled and left to mature for several months.

Shrub is usually diluted with soda water.