Heston Blumenthal's banbury cake

"Dating from at least the 16th century, this classic English flat pastry has a wonderfully complex flavour – fruity,spicy and fragrant all at once. Served with a ramekin full of rich potted Stilton, it’s the perfect teatime treat this Easter," says Heston.

Makes: 15


80g unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
170g currants
25ml sherry vinegar
1g powdered clove
1g nutmeg
1g cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
25g Amontillado sherry
1g orange flower water
35g mixed peel
500g pack puff pastry
Egg wash (1 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg yolkbeaten with 2 tsp milk)

For the potted stilton

100g Stilton cheese
35g mascarpone cheese
90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1g salt
1tsp sherry vinegar
30g Pedro Ximenez sherry


1. For the Banbury cake, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and heat until the mixture begins to bubble.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the currants, vinegar and spices. Allow to cool a little and add the zest, sherry, orange flower water and mixed peel. Stir thoroughly and set to one side.

3. Roll out the pastry on a cold surface to 3mm thick. Cut out circles using a 15cm pastry cutter and brush the circles with egg wash. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the circles and fold in the pastry to cover the filling. Press together to seal then turn each cake over and slash the top with a knife 3 times.

4. Rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge then brush the surface with egg wash again. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden and cooked.

5. For the potted Stilton: put the Stilton, mascarpone, butter and salt into a bowl and blitz with a hand-held blender until it becomes a smooth and homogenous mixture. Gently warm 55g water and the sherry vinegar together then slowly add this mixture to the cheese. Pour in the PX sherry and mix carefully.

6. Decant into small ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Take the ramekins out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving with the Banbury cakes.

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