Oast Cakes

These cakes were made in the Kentish hop gardens when hop-picking was at its height. The dough was mixed early in the day in the hut or encampment and made into small balls and fried over the camp fire at the afternoon break. This was, of course, shallow frying in lard but the little cakes are crisper if deep fried. They must be eaten very hot.


  • ½ cup (120 g) lard
  • 1 lb (½ kg) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup (120 g) currants
  • 4 tablespoons sweet wine or sherry
  • Oil for deep frying
  • ¼ cup (60 g) castor sugar


Cut and rub the lard into the flour and salt. Scatter in the currants and mix to a stiff dough with the wine and 4 tablespoons water. Form into balls and deep fry in very hot oil until golden brown. Roll in castor sugar and serve at once.