Today is St. David's Day. St. David lived in the 5th century and is the patron saint of the Welsh and while his day is not celebrated widely in the world, it is by the Welsh. And since my dad was born in a small village in the Garw Valley of South Wales, we celebrated St. David's Day every year with a bouquet of daffodils and some freshly baked Welsh Cakes.
Welsh Cakes are done on a griddle and, as you can see, they look similar to a pancake but taste nothing like that. That were a favorite of ours as children and when I grew up, my mother always baked a batch as a present for me for my birthday and Christmas (they are that good)
And since there weren't any books for kids available to me for posting today, I thought I would post my mother's recipe for Welsh Cakes. And yes, that is lard among the ingredients. I should say my mom tried making them with vegetable shortening, but they were hard as hockey pucks and tasteless. Sadly, only lard works and so these have become once a year treats now.
½ lb. self-raising flour
¼ lb. pure lard
¼ lb. sugar
2 oz sultanas or currants or raisins
1 heaped teaspoonful nutmeg
1 heaped teaspoonful salt
Crumble the lard into the flour by hand; add sugar, sultanas, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in the beaten egg – adding a little milk if necessary – till just right to roll out to about a bare quarter of an inch thick. Cut into rounds about 2 ½ inches in diameter - a glass works nicely.
In the meantime the griddle should have been heating, and when you think it is ready, rub it over with larded paper. Try it for temperature with a scrap of dough and regulate the heat so that the dough browns evenly without burning in about seven to ten minutes, then place as many of the Welsh Cakes on it as possible. Turn over when all are evenly brown (about ten minutes) and cook the other side the same.
Happy St. David's Day