Tea and biscuits is something very British, and very special, too. On a sad day, having a cuppa with a few Custard Creams is like getting a big hug. As wonderful as the classic is, I very much enjoyed remaking it using those tea and biscuit flavours in different formats: making some homemade Eccles cakes and an Earl Grey custard to dunk them in.
Makes 8 small cakes
500g puff pastry, rolled out into squares the thickness of a pound coin and about 6cm long 30g butter, melted
150g soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 orange, zest and juice
Earl Grey custard
2 Earl Grey tea bags
150ml double cream
2 egg yolks
First, make the mixture by combining the butter, sugar, currants, spices, orange zest and juice, and mix well. Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll into a ball. Continue until you have 12 balls approximately 2cm in diameter.
Place a ball, flattened slightly, in the centre of the pastry.
Brush the sides of the pastry with milk, then turn up around the mix and seal.
Turn over and place on a lined baking sheet. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
Take the cakes from the fridge. Make three slices in the top and brush with milk. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Earl Grey custard
Put the milk, cream and tea bags in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Meanwhile, bring the milk and cream back to the boil, then strain.
Slowly pour the milk and cream on to the yolk mix and stir well. Put back in a pan and heat gently until it thickens – taking care not to let it scramble or go lumpy. Strain into a bowl, placing a sheet of clingfilm over it to prevent a skin forming.
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