February 24, 2011

Grandma's Echo Cakes - a simple pleasure



Echo Cakes are simple, in every sense of the word.  Simple flavors.  Simple ingredients.  Simple to put together.  And they are one of my all-time favorite sweet treats.  Not only do they taste simply divine, they also hold very wonderful childhood memories for me.  My Mom used to make them for my brother and me all the time, and my Grandmother used to make them for my Mom and her two sisters all the time before that.  I remember having them frequently as an after-school snack.  Now that we're adults, Mom usually makes them for us as a treat at Christmas time.  I still love them as much as I did as a kid!

Echo Cakes are quite simply a strawberry-jam-filled cupcake, with a pie crust bottom and one-egg cake top, dusted with powdered sugar.  That's it.  They're sweet, but not too sweet - just perfectly sweet, in my opinion.  My Mom and I aren't sure where the name Echo Cakes comes from, but we think they're named for the Echo brand muffin tins they were originally made in.


I just made these myself for the first time.  Being the recipe tinker-er that I am, I wanted to make a few with different flavors of jam filling just to see how they'd be.  When I called my Mom to ask her about other jam flavors, she said "Oh, I don't know how they'd be - I've only ever made them with strawberry."

Really, Mom?  You've been making these for over 40 years and have never tried another jam flavor?  Where's your sense of cooking adventure??

And so, there was even more incentive for me to tinker.  Here's the flavor report:

Fig - NOT good, and I had such high hopes
Apricot - okay, but not wonderful
Raspberry - okay
Blackberry - really good!

If you make these, I recommend sticking with the original strawberry jam filling, or going with blackberry.

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Echo Cakes
Source:  My Grandmother

Ingredients
Pie crust
Strawberry jam
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

One-Egg Cake:
4 T. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla


Directions
Make the One-Egg Cake: 
Cream shortening and sugar.  Add egg, and beat.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternately with milk, beating after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Assemble the Echo Cakes: 
Cut circles from the pie crust.  My Mom figured out that a plastic stadium cup like you get at sporting events is the perfect size to use as a cutter.  (We use a Carolina cup - go Heels!)  Fit pie crust circles into the bottom and sides of muffin tin cups.  Put in about 1 tsp. of strawberry jam (not too much, or it will spill out when cooking).  Then, top with one-egg cake mixture - just plop some on the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool.  Sprinkle tops with confectioner's sugar.

Enjoy!



This post is linked with This Week's Cravings hosted by Mom's Crazy Cooking and Sharing Sundays hosted by Everyday Sisters.

3 comments:

  1. These sound really yummy. Thanks for linking up to Sharing Sundays.

    Ellen

    Http://everydaysisters.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. "My Mom and I aren't sure where the name Echo Cakes comes from, but we think they're named for the Echo brand muffin tins they were originally made in."

    [Wikipedia:] An Eccles cake is a small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter, sometimes topped with demerara sugar.

    Eccles cakes are named after the English town of Eccles. It is not known who invented the recipe, but James Birch is credited with being the first person to sell Eccles cakes on a commercial basis, which he sold from his shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary's Road (now known as Church Street) in the town centre, in 1793.

    Nicknames for the Eccles cake include Squashed Fly Cake, Fly Cake, Fly Pie or even a Fly's Graveyard, owing to the appearance of the currants that it contains.[citation needed] Eccles cakes do not currently have Protected Geographical Status, so may be manufactured anywhere and still labelled as "Eccles" cakes ... UK fire brigades have reported several cases of fires started by Eccles cakes overcooked in microwave ovens. The sugar contained in the cakes is alleged to be flammable.

    The kitchenware maker was Ekco.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Note to Scott: these aren't Eccles cakes - Eccles cakes are flat, pastry-like and chock full of dried currants (they really do look like dead flies).

    These are a similar idea to Bakewell tarts, which are super-delish, so I'm going to have to give these a try! I bet some flaked almonds on top would be good too.

    ReplyDelete

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