Dried fruit is usually tucked to the back of the pantry through the summer months, while we make use of the fresh fruits available. As the leaves change colour, they slowly they sneak their way forward to the front of the shelf, to be tucked into salads, cookies and loaves. These little pastries, Cumberland Rum Nickies, are filled with dates and ginger and are one of our favourite treats to greet fall with.
Friends brought the original recipe home to me after travelling in Cumberland on the northwest coast of England years ago. I must admit, I was intrigued by the name, and once a batch was made, they firmly seated themselves into my favourites. Perhaps they appealed to my heritage.
Very simple to make, they last well in a sealed container (unless they all get eaten in the first day). Also, they make a good addition to any holiday baking, as they don’t really have a comparable cookie or tart.
1 recipe of prepared Basic Pastry dough for a 2-crust pie (using 3 c of flour)
1T brown sugar
Sugar to dust
Stew for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Add in the ginger, rum, brown sugar, and butter.
Preheat the oven to 375°
Dust the work surface with flour and roll out ½ of the pastry. Not too thinly, the thicker side of ⅛ of an inch.
Roll out the second half of the pastry dough, and cut into 3” rounds, about 6 at a time.
Place the top round over, sealing the edges with a fork.
Continue until all are covered and sealed.
Sprinkle with sugar.