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John Peel Tart

Pastries - Sweet Double Crust Pies

Filling of currants and almonds in butter and sugar.

John Peel of Caldbeck

The original source of this receipt isn't known. Can you help?

8oz short-crust pastry
4oz golden syrup
1oz butter
6oz currants
1dspn lemon juice
1oz chopped peel
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1oz ground almonds

METHOD: Melt the golden syrup and the butter, together with the currants, lemon juice, chopped peel, mixed spice and ground almonds. Mix all together over the heat, then take off heat and leave to cool. Line a greased 7-in fireproof plate with half the rolled out pastry. Fill with the fruit mixture. Cover with the remaining pastry, sealing the edges well and bake for around 40 minutes in a fairly hot oven, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

The name is possibly from the famous huntsman John Peel of Caldbeck in Cumberland (1776-1854), immortalised in the song:

D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay [or gray]?
D'ye ken John Peel at the break o' day?
D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far a-way.
With his hounds and his horn in the morning?

For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed,
And the cry of his hounds which he oftime led,
Peel's "View, Halloo!" could awaken the dead,
Or the fox from his lair in the morning.

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