Happy Hogmany, folks!
For those of you outwith Scotland, Hogmanay is our version of New Years. The origins of the term ‘Hogmanay’ is at best uncertain but it isn’t without it’s traditions. Torch-light processions, singing Auld Lang Syne, street parties and of course first-footing; the custom of being the first visitor in a home after the bells at midnight. And for good luck your first-footer should be a tall, dark, handsome stranger, carrying some sort of gift. So if you’re planning on doing some first-footing yourself then this Black Bun is just the gift you need.There’s two kinds of people when it comes to celebrating Hogmanay. The first are the ones who are happy to stand in the freezing rain, in the middle of the street, listening to a band they’d never usually listen to and hugging strangers at the stroke of midnight when hundreds of fireworks light up the sky.
The second (i.e. me…) are those who much prefer to be in the warmth of their own homes, with Jackie Bird on the telly after repeats of Still Game and Only An Excuse, dozing off on the couch and wishing each other a Happy New Year before crawling into bed and feeling like it’s all a bit of an anti-climax.
Whichever you are and whether you’ll be first-footing before you go to bed or after you’ve woken in the morning, Black Bun is the ultimate gift to take to your host, or indeed to offer to your guests when they first foot you. And if nothing else, it’s sure to fill you up after a Loony Dook!
For the Pastry
- 300 g Plain Flour
- 150 g Butter cubed
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 tbsp Cold Water
- 1 Egg beaten - for glazing
For the Filling
- 200 g Plain Flour
- 450 g Dried Fruit currants, raisins, sultanas
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
- 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 100 g Light Brown Sugar
- 100 g Mixed Peel
- 50 g Flaked Almonds
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 2 tbsp Whiskey or Orange Juice
- 1 Egg
- 3 tbsp Milk
For the Pastry
- Sift thhe flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the salt and 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and mix into a soft dough.
- Knead the dough together and form a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge whilst you make your Black Bun filling.
For the Filling
- Pre-heat your oven to 160°c. Grease and line a 7 inch round cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin with grease-proof paper.
- Mix all the filling ingredients in a large bowl - is should be of a sticky consistency. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out 2/3 of the pastry thinly. Drape into your pre-lined tin and press up against the sides.
- Spoon in the filling to the pastry-lined tin and push down with the back of a spoon.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness as before, large enough to cover the top of your tin. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water and press on top of your black bun to seal. Trim the edges and crimp with a fork to finish.
- Glaze with a beaten egg, prick some holes in the top of the pastry and bake for 2 hours. If you feel your black bun is looking a little brown on top, cover with a sheet of tin foil half way through the bake time.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in tin before turning out to cut and serve.