When the theme “Sweet as Pie” was announced for this months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop hosted by KC of the Capers of a Kitchen Crusader… apple pie came to mind. Warm apple pie with a dollop of fresh cream… delicious! But after giving the theme some more thought I started thinking back to my school days… my favourite subject… home economics.
I remembered these “little jam pie cakes” baked during one of the cooking lessons but I couldn’t remember what they were actual called. They were a cross between a pie and a cake with a jam filling. But I do remember that I loved baking them and did so on many occasions during those years.
Update: 2015 Happy to announce that my sweet as pie Welsh cheese cake photograph is published in the new edition of Essentials of Living text book for Irish Students.
Not so long ago I acquired two old Irish cookery books called “All In The Cooking” from my mother (no way were these gems going in the bin) which Mum had used during her teacher training days at college. The cookery books were official text books compiled for students and classes of Domestic Science in Ireland and printed during the 1940’s and 50’s. Flicking through the old yellowed pages and scouring over the recipes, came across what I was looking for… these little jam pie cakes were called “Welsh Cheese Cakes.” Maybe our domestic science teacher called them something different. Why they are called cheesecakes… I have no idea and there is no cheese in them either! But the theme for the blog hop is pies… pastry on the bottom and pastry on the top… well these Welsh Cheese Cakes fit the bill.
This is the first time I have baked this old school recipe for my family and once the camera was set aside (although I got the first bite), the cakes were eaten and the family statement was “why have you never made these before”… home baking at its best!
Some notes: As I used a 12 hole patty tin more pastry was required, the pastry weight stated in the orignal recipe seemed on the low side anyway! Rolling the pastry into 1/4 inch thickness was a bit on the chunky side for me so I went for about 1/8 inch thickness, a little more delicate! Using a home-made sweetened short crust pastry was also a preference, but when buying short crust pastry from the supermarkets I choose pastry made with butter!
When making the cake filling I used the all- in- one method of cake mixing for this recipe, which is quicker, rather than the creaming method. The cake filling was soft enough when mixed so I omitted the milk and used vanilla extract for the flavouring.
Welsh Cheese Cakes
(Adapted from the All In The Cooking, see below for original recipe)
- 200g short crust pastry (home-made or bought)
- 2 tablespoons of blackcurrant jam
for the cake filling
- 50g butter, softened
- 50g castor sugar
- 75g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- 12 hole patty tin
- pastry cutter
- electric beater
- kitchen weighing scales
How to make:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°C/180°F/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
On a lightly floured work-surface roll out the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 12 rounds using a 3-inch round fluted pastry cutter and line the un-greased patty tin with the pastry. Re-roll the scrapes of pastry out into 1/8 inch thickness and cut pastry into thin match-like strips, you will need 2 strips per cake.
Place a 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the middle of each pastry round. Place patty tin into the fridge (especially if the kitchen is very warm) while making the filling.
Put the butter into a medium mixing bowl and sieve in the castor sugar, flour and baking powder. Next add in the vanilla extract and egg.
Beat all the ingredients together using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth and lighter in colour.
Place 1 heaped teaspoon of cake mixture over the jam, then cross two strips of pastry over the top of the cake mixture.
Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden. Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Dust over some icing sugar before serving, if using.
Original Recipe from All In The Cooking
This post has been part of the “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, click here to see all the other “Sweet as Pie” entries!