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Sussex Plum Heavies

Pies and Pastries : Biscuits

(Or Sussex Heavies)

Small rounds of white wheatflour pastry with dried fruit. Said to have been carried by shepherds and woodsmen in their pockets as snacks, and given to children as treats.

Sussex Plum Heavies
Image: http://oakden.co.uk

The 1875 'A dictionary of the Sussex dialect' has; "PLUM-HEAVY. A small round cake made of pie-crust, with raisins or currants in it.
Dr. J. C. Sanger, of Seaford, when Government Surgeon at the Cape of Good Hope, was sent for to see an English settler. Reaching the house at tea-time, he joined the family at their meal, and on sitting down to the table he said, "You come from Sussex." " Yes," was the answer, "from Horse-mouncies (Hurstmonceux), but how did you know that ?" "Because you have got plum-heavies for tea," said the doctor, " which I never saw but when I have been visiting in Sussex." "

Original Receipt from 'Saleable Shop Goods for Counter-Tray and Window:' by Frederick T Vine (Vine 1907)

No. 125.- Plum Heavies.

Wet up the mixture given for Cream Scones, and, when mixed, take a large rolling-pin and roll it down in a sheet about 1/2 in. thick, and cut out with a plain 2-in. round cutter. As you cut them out, set them on to clean greased plates, wash over with egg, and bake in a warm oven. When done, sell at two a 1d. It is usual to put sultanas into these; but if objected to they can, of course, be omitted, and currants substituted. These are sometimes made plain, cut out very small, and sold at 3d. per dozen.

Original Receipt from Sussex County Magazine 1936

Plum Heavies
One lb. flour, 4lb. butter, 2 ozs. lard, 1lb. sugar, 1lb. currants.
Mix and make into a soft dough with cold milk; roll out about half an inch thick and cut into rounds with a small pastry cutter.
(Miss) G. EAMES.

Original Receipt from the 'Western Times' - Friday 17 December 1943

" Sussex Heavies."
Sussex, too, has a special dainty for tea at this time of the year. Sussex Heavies"—but don't be misled by their name as they are deliciously light—require 1/2 lb flour, 2oz. lard. 1 teacup milk and water (sour milk would do even better), a few currants, and 1oz. sugar. Rub the lard into the flour as for pastry, add the dried fruit, and then the liquid. Roll out, cut into rounds, and bake in hot oven for about 12 minutes.

The Sussex Heavies

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