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Is it a Chorley cake? Singing Lily? An Eccles Cake? A currant cake? Whatever they are, these traditional mini hand pies are adorable. Based on a recipe from my British Great Grandmother- simply fold extra pie crust around a heaping spoonful of currants and sugar. Perfect for those leftover Thanksgiving and Christmas pie crust scraps!
American Singing Lily : Currant Mini Hand Pies
I’m sure you're reading that title and wondering, Who is this Lily she is talking about? Why is she singing? I have no idea. Singing Lily is apparently the name of a British dessert my mother grew up with, although she called it Currant Cake her entire life. Now are you really confused? My grandfather was born in England, but raised in America. When my mother was growing up, her British grandparents lived with her. She remembers her grandmother making this as a big pie like dessert, always using dough scraps. This past spring, when we visited England, one of the first thing my mom asked my cousins was how to make this recipe!
It turns out people do a million different versions, with a million different names. In fact, in a Facebook group dedicated to the the area her grandparents were from, posters banter back and forth on what they should be called. Although some said Eccles cakes, they were shut down pretty fast with, “no, those are made with puff pastry”. Some said Chorley Cakes (which is where my great grandparents are from), Bolton flat cake (another nearby town), or Singing Lily. Singing Lily seemed to be the most popular, and hey, it’s pretty catchy. So American Singing Lily this dessert shall be!
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There are really only 2 main components of this dessert: Pie Crust and Currants.
My Great Grandmother used pie scraps, but I made a whole pie crust so that I would be able to make this dessert alone. 1 pie crust yielded 9 cakes.
Use the recipe below to make an easy breezy pie dough. It doesn’t have to be chilled and it is easy to work with!
Once you are done with your pie crust, pat it down and cut into 6 even pieces
Roll it out thinly, about 5-6 inches in diameter
I used a bowl that was about 5 inches wide as a template. Cut the dough with a knife and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Gather some salted butter, and sugar.
Don’t forget your currants! Place a handful (just scant of a quarter of a cup I’d say), a few tiny pats of butter, and sprinkle with sugar on top.
Top with melted butter:
And then sprinkle with sugar before placing in the oven to cook!
Allow to cool on wire rack after cooking, and then sprinkle the tops with confectioners sugar.
I like to gift Singing Lily because I know most likely my neighbors are not already making it, and it’s not something that most neighbors give out.
Gifting is so easy with Holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs.
I love that they come in festive colors like red and green, or in holiday prints. They are perfect for transporting hot or cold items, and they make it easy for my kiddos to delivery holiday treats. With Quik Clik Seal™ technology I don’t have to worry about spills. They are perfect for taking meals to friends because they are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.
They come in several sizes, so it’s easy to find one that fits your recipe perfectly!
I picked mine up while I was out shopping at Walmart. I found mine in the kitchen area in the food storage section.
The best part of picking them up at Walmart? The special Ibotta $1 Off Of Any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Products rebate offer, exclusive to Walmart shoppers! Who doesn’t love to save money?!!!
Holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. TakeAlongs holiday selections include TakeAlongs Rectangle, TakeAlongs Deep Square, TakeAlongs Serving Bowl, TakeAlongs Serving Rectangle, TakeAlongs Rectangle, and the Deviled Egg Tray.
So speaking of neighbors, I did promise “How to get to know your neighbors”.
I’m amazed at how many people I talk to who tell me they don’t know their neighbors. I would encourage you, get to know at least 1!!!! There will come a day when you need a neighbor (Did I leave my garage door up? Where are my house keys? How did I lock myself out?).
So here ya go!
1. When a new neighbor moves in, stop by and visit, start by simply introducing yourself. Bonus points if you show up with a treat in Rubbermaid TakeAlongs!
2. Once your neighbor has been around for a day or so, drop by a simple folder with info on the local cable, satellite and internet companies. For people who haven’t lived in the area before, this is so helpful. Tell them who you recommend and who you’ve had not so much luck with.
3. Participate in community events. Our neighborhood has a fall and spring festival. It’s a nice chance to get to know your neighbors in a social setting.
4. Participate in National Night Out. Arranged by your local community officials, this is greatly encouraged to eliminate crime in neighborhoods. When you know your neighbors, you know what is suspicious and what isn’t.
5. Throw a holiday party, a back to school party, a hooray it’s not 100 degrees anymore, or an any excuse party. People will usually at least stop by, and by personally delivering invites, people feel welcome to attend.
6. Set up a telephone roster for all your direct neighbors. It is so helpful to have everyones info in one consolidated place. By having their house address, in case of emergency, you’ll know which address to give to first responders. It’s also handy to text someone and say, “Hey, you have some packages left out over night, you might be traveling, want me to hold them for you?”. Once it’s typed, it’s easy to print and share the contact list with neighbors.
7. Get to know your local fire department and police officers in your area. Drop by and bring cookies or drinks. They may not be your “neighbors” but they are valuable to your community.
8. Return misdelivered mail. It happens. It’s also the perfect excuse to start knocking on a neighbors door.
9. Sit outside, spend time gardening out front, walk daily. The more they see you, the more you wave, the more you will have opportunities to talk and chat. Don’t be the neighbor who doesn’t wave. It takes no effort and makes people feel better!
10. Give gift cards, cookies, or even just happy mail. Let your children accompany you so they learn to interact with adults and will also know who the people in their neighborhood are.
I’d love to know how you get to know your neighbors? What’s the nicest thing a neighbor has done for you? Do your neighbors wave, or try to get their car in the garage as soon as possible without being seen?
AMERICAN SINGING LILY
For the Pie Crust:
- 8 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter (This is usually one stick)
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoon ice cold water
For the cakes:
- 1 cup dried currants
- 4 tablespoon salted butter
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
For the Pie Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add in the pieces of butter and “cut it in” using either a pastry cutter or 2 knives.
- The butter will break down in size, and your mixture will start to resemble coarse meal. Let the butter go down in size, until just under pea size.
- Slowly add in the ice cold water, a tablespoon at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon. Eventually start needing by hand, and the flour will form a dough. Try not to overwork it. Bring to a ball and flatten down a bit. You are now ready to go!
- This dough makes enough for 1 crust. You do not have to chill it, you can use right away!
For the Mini Hand Pies:
- Cut the dough into 6 even sections. Roll out each section and cut into a circle (see method above).
- Use the scraps from the first 6 to finish out the last 3 or 4.
- Place circles on a greased cookie sheet. Place a handful of currants in the center. Add a few dabs of small slivers of butter onto the currants. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Fold as described above.
- Brush tops with melted butter or cream, and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. The bottoms will brown up.
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Jenna Wood says
I'd never head of this British treat before but it sounds and looks amazing- the sort of treat that's handmade with love! Thanks for sharing! #client
Gary Pierce says
This is definitely not an American dish 😡😡😡 It's an old English dish my Nan used to make
I'm so very sad that it appears you did not read my post at all. I stated this was an American version of a British dish. My post goes into why we eat it here, the different regions and names for similar versions and much more. I'm sorry that it angered you that we chose to keep the British dish going after crossing the pond. This was one way we could honor and remember our relatives that immigrated. I often purchase Eccles cakes and Chorley cakes and grab currants when I make it over to the UK. This is something near and dear to us, because like you "it's and old English dish *My Mom's* Nan used to make".