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Sly Cake

Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland

Sheet of shortcrust pastry covered with paste of minced dark dried fruit (fig, raisin) walnut and covered with a second layer of shortcrust. Baked and cut into squares. A form of Squashed Fly Cake, but also equated to Fatty Cake.

The origin of the name is unclear. F. K. Robinson's 'Glossary of Yorkshire Words' of 1855 says that the name comes from the cake's apparent plainness; "Sly-cakes, tea-cakes plain and uninviting on the outside, but when eaten are found full of currants and richness within. They are also called Cheats." (Though see 'Cheat' as a type of bread)

The Shields Gazette, however, provides a long story about a clandestine love affair

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

12 oz shortcrust or rough puff pastry
1 oz butter or margarine
1 apple
1/2 lb currants or chopped figs
3 oz chopped walnuts
2 ox cut mixed peel
2 oz sugar
2 tsp Mixed Spice
beaten egg to glaze

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