Few rituals are more cozy, charming, and comforting than a cup of hot tea with a little cake to go with it. These ancient-in-origin Welsh tea cakes are the easiest treat I've ever made, unequivocally foolproof. You don't even have to turn on the oven. This comes as a welcome relief since I was felled by failure with a quite different recipe (for soup) which I had been tinkering for days. There is something to be said for licking one's wounds with some tea and sweet sympathy.
Pice ar y Maen - Welsh Currant Griddle Cakes - Adapted from the King Arthur recipe
Makes approximately 16
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons cold, salted butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup dried currants
1/3 cup demerara sugar
In a large bowl whisk together flour and baking powder. Gently rub and toss butter into dry ingredients until you create an evenly course meal. Stir in sugar and orange peel, then beat in egg, milk and extract until a soft, dense, and pliable dough ball forms. Stir in currants. Turn out dough onto floured surface. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Gather up dough scraps, rolling and cutting repeated until you've made as many cakes as possible. If you find the dough too warm and soft, place in refrigerator to cool for no longer than a few minutes.
Warm a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Evenly distribute cakes on griddle. They will be soft and a little delicate, but firm as they cook. Turn when golden brown (about 3 minutes). Cook other side for additional 3 minutes, then turn cakes out onto serving place. Strew cakes with demerara sugar. Repeat with subsequent batches. Serve warm directly from griddle, but they are equally delicious at room temperature. ~
This currant-heavy recipe is for Simona of Briciole, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging #374 for Haalo of Cook Almost Anything. Simona will have the round-up online Monday, March 11.