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Flead Pastry Cakes


Flead is the inner fatty membrane of a pig, also called flear or leaf. It is shredded and mixed with flour and water, rolled c1in thick, cut into shapes and baked.

Acton 1845 says that; "These are very much served as a tea-cake at the tables of the superior order of Kentish farmers."

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Flead is the provincial name for the leaf, or inside fat of a pig, which makes excellent crust when fresh, much finer, indeed, than after it is melted into lard. Clear it quite from skin, and slice it very thin into the flour, add sufficient salt to give flavour to the paste, and make the whole up smooth and firm with cold water; lay it on a clean dresser, and beat it forcibly with a rolling-pin until the flead is blended perfectly with the flour. It may then be made into cakes with a paste-cutter, or used for pies, round the edges of which a knife should be passed, as the crust rises better when cut than if merely, rolled to the proper size. With the addition of a small quantity of butter, which may either be broken into the flour before the flead is mixed with it, or rolled into the paste after it is beaten, it will be found equal to fine puff crust, with the advantage of being more easy of digestion.

These are very much served as a tea-cake at the tables of the superior order of Kentish farmers. For the mode of making them, proceed as for flead-crust [above]; cut the cakes small with a round cutter, and leave them more than half an inch thick: if well made they will rise much in the oven. Bake them rather quickly, but keep them pale.

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