Scottish black bun

Scottish black bun
  • Serves icon Serves 10-12
  • Time icon Takes 40 minutes to make and 2 hours to bake

This traditional Scottish recipe was given to us by Linda Farquhar, the mother of Morag, our former art editor. Linda lives in Aberdeenshire so you can be sure it’s totally authentic.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
361kcals
Fat
9g (4g saturated)
Protein
5g
Carbohydrates
69g (41g sugars)
Salt
0.3g
Calories
361kcals
Fat
9g (4g saturated)
Protein
5g
Carbohydrates
69g (41g sugars)
Salt
0.3g

For 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g raisins
  • 400g currants
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 75g dark muscovado sugar
  • 25g molasses sugar
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp brandy or whisky
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 50g vegetable shortening or lard, chilled and cubed

Method

  1. Make the pastry. Put the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 4 tablespoons of cold water and mix to a soft dough. Cover with cling film and chill while you make the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan160°C/gas 4. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl, with enough milk to just moisten it.
  3. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out three-quarters of the dough to a rectangle large enough to line the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin. Drape into the tin and press up against sides, smoothing out any creases. Tightly pack in the filling and press down well. Roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle large enough to fit the top. Dampen the edge of the pastry in the tin with water, press the pastry lid on top to seal and trim off the edges. Bake for 2 hours. Allow to cool for 1 hour.
  4. Remove the black bun from the tin, then cut into slices to serve.

delicious. tips

  1. This will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

  2. ‘First footing’ is an old Hogmanay custom: shortly after midnight, neighbours would visit one another to offer their best wishes for the New Year and take gifts such as black bun (a fruit cake wrapped in pastry) to symbolise that the household would not go hungry that year.

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  1. Hi! I am very excited to make black bun this year and give to friends and neighbors! I live in the USA and have a few questions: what are the spices in “mixed spice” and which peels comprise “mixed peel”? Thank you! Linda

    1. Hi Linda – Mixed spice is a pre-made spice mix available in most supermarkets across the UK. It consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger, although the blend can vary depending on the brand. Substituting in any one of these spices would have a similar effect! Mixed peel is a blend of candied lemon and oranges, but you could easily leave this out or swap it for extra currents and raisins. Happy cooking! Ellie

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