The sun is finally out. The mercury has finally risen. It’s time to shake the spiders off that neglected patio set and take advantage of a warm summer morning the best way we know how: brunch!
We have several cookbooks in our James Fraser Library, including Out of Our Kitchen Closets: San Francisco Gay Jewish Cooking by Congregation Sha’ar Zahav (1987) and Cookin’ With Honey: What Literary Lesbians Eat edited by Amy Scholder (1996).
Today we are featuring a delectable recipe for Banbury Cakes from the Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, first published by famed 20th century author Alice B. Toklas in 1954. The cakes once made and sold exclusively in Banbury, England are best enjoyed with warm tea and a pinky in the air. Feel free to don a fascinator for extra class.
Prepare puff pastry; ½ lb. flour will make enough for 20 cakes. Filling for cakes: ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon lemon rinds and juice, 1 oz. candied peel chopped, 1 oz. cake crumbs (or breadcrumbs with sugar added) 2 ozs. sugar, 2 ozs. sultanas, 2 ozs. currants, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 egg, 2 ozs. butter. Warm bowl and then work butter, sugar and the spices into a creamy consistency. Then beat in egg and later the crumbs. Then add lemon juice, currants, etc., and lemon rind. Stir.
Cut pastry into rounds. Put some of the filling on to a round. Fold over to make a semi-circle. Egg-wash the joint and squeeze tight the ends. Place it joint downwards and tap it out to an oval shape. Make a few cuts in top. Bake for 20 minutes at 500˚.