Maids of Honour – Recipe

What you might not know about me is that, although I live in the Lake District now, I’m actually from the North-East.  More specifically, North Yorkshire.  And so, my Parents, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins will know exactly what these little cakes are all about.  They remind me of my childhood; I used to stand in my Nana’s kitchen on a stool and bake these with her from scratch every time I went to visit.  They are one of my strongest childhood memories and I hope to pass these down to my children as they grow.

Maids of Honour cakes seem to be a North-Eastern thing… Or at least, they’ve not been heard of in the Lakes!  I baked this batch of beauties and took a handful into work for my colleagues to try, and guess what?  Not one of them had heard of them!  One colleague remembered making something similar when she was young, a tray bake version rather than individual cakes, but not known as Maids of Honour.

Maids of Honour

They essentially comprise of a Jam Tart topped with Cake mixture and baked in the oven until golden.  They are really yummy when they’ve just cooled enough not to burn your mouth on the hot jam, but the cake and pastry are still warm.  Even better with a drop of custard.  I decided to stay on the traditional path and use Strawberry Jam within the tart.  You really have got to use the perfect jam, in my opinion, one that is completely smooth and sweet works great for this recipe.  There’s nothing worse than a giant globule of hot strawberry ‘bit’ in the jam burning your tongue when you take your first bite!  So here’s my Maids of Honour recipe..

1 pack Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry
Strawberry Jam
55g unsalted butter
55g caster sugar
1 egg
115g self-raising flour
1-2tbsp milk

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees.
Roll out the pastry and cut 12 tart cases using a pastry cutter. Line the holes in a 12-hole bun tin.
Add 1 tsp of jam to each tart – careful not to overload the tarts, this causes them to explode during cooking!
Beat the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat the mixture well.
Sieve the flour into the mixture and stir in. Add a little milk until well-combined.
Divide the mixture between the 12 tarts, being careful to seal each one around the edges.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden.
Take out the oven and leave to cool in the tray for a couple of minutes before removing.
Enjoy on their own with a cup of tea or with a drop of hot custard!

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