Friday, 15 July 2011

Pig 'ole Door

Today my cousin Helen and I baked an old family favourite, pig 'ole door. It's a cross between a cake and a biscuit with raspberry jam in the middle and icing and coconut on top. It's absolutely perfect with a cup of tea and tastes of childhood as our Grandma used to bake it for us. It probably has a proper Yorkshire name but I've no idea what it is**. We call it 'pig 'ole door' because it's baked in a large slab that apparently looks like the weight used to block the pig's little door in a sty. If anyone wants the recipe*, feel free to ask. It's not a closely guarded secret.

Our Grandma redefines "stalwart". She is 95, registered blind and struggling with arthritis. She still lives on her own and is keen to keep it that way. Three weeks ago she fell and broke her hip, picked herself up and BAKED A CAKE. Two days later, she admitted she didn't feel all that good and had a sit down. She didn't want to make a fuss by ringing her alarm for help, so waited until we realised something was amiss. Grandma has had a hip replacement and is doing well with her physiotherapy.

We sent her a box of pig 'ole door to help her with her recovery and her first ever cake pops. 

* a few people have asked for the recipe, so here goes:

12oz plain flour
pinch of salt
3 tsps baking powder
6oz butter at room temperature
6oz caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
raspberry jam
icing sugar
desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF and grease a baking tray.

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder, then rub in the butter. Add the beaten egg to bind the mixture - if it's still too dry to roll out, add a little water or milk. 
Roll out half of the mixture to about 1cm depth and place on the baking tray. Spread with jam, then roll out the second half and place this on top of the jam. Prick it all over with a fork to make air holes. It will look like a big wobbly edged slab but don't despair, it will look pretty soon.
Bake for about 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Allow to cool, then ice and sprinkle on the coconut. Slice into squares and enjoy with tea. 

** my dad has tried and failed to leave a comment on this blog, so he's texted me some Yorkshire names and literary references: "Pig 'ole door is really called Yorkshire cake except in Haworth where it is called Stanbury cake. There are 18 references to it in the works of the Bronte sisters. Some experts think their brother Branwell took some to The Black Bull pub hoping to entice a young lady to join him in merry romp on the moors."

Tsk, the things some young ladies will do for cake.

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