A rich cake of a biscuit nature

According to Wikipedia, Pitkeathly Wells is a hamlet in Perth and Kinross in Scotland. I have a cousin living very near Perth so I’m sure he knows Pitkeathly. It’s apparently well known for mineral waters and had five wells East Well, West Well, Spout Well, Dunbarny Well, and the Southpark Well. These wells had been used for centuries, the water supposedly having amazing restorative powers as they contained among other things, calcium, salt and magnesium. During the 19th century the mineral, sometimes carbonated, water was bottled and sold in bottles, probably very successfully and delivered all over the country. However, in 1910, Schweppes took over the company and the bottling plant; disaster struck – a fire (in a water factory? Seems odd!) and it closed for good. Wikipedia also mentions the Pitcaithly Bannock which is similar to shortbread.

Janet Murray has a recipe for it, of course she does!! She knows the town as Pitcaithly

Pitcaithly in Perthshire was at one time noted for its mineral wells and it is said that one of the landladies who catered for the visitors who flocked to the health resort made a rich cake of a biscuit nature. This is the traditional recipe:
4 oz almonds skinned and chopped. A few minutes in boiling water will slacken the skin, and it will come off easily; 4 oz mixed peel finely shredded; 8 oz butter; 4 oz castor sugar; 12 oz plain white flour.
Beat the butter and the sugar until it is creamy, then add the nuts, the peel, and the flour slowly, mixing all the time. Use a wooden spoon for mixing, but finish by kneading firmly with the hand to get a smooth firm dough.
Turn it out on to a floured board and knead into a round shape. It should be fully half an inch thick. Pinch round the edge of the bannock, then stab over the surface with a fork. Put the bannock on a floured baking sheet and leave it for at least a couple of hours to become firm.
Pin a strip of greaseproof paper round the bannock and bake in a moderate, even a slow oven. Bake for 1 hour. It should be a pale golden colour. A few minutes before removing from the oven, dredge it literally with castor sugar. The bannock, if stored in an airtight in, will keep for a long time.

In the absence of any pictures connected to Scotland, Perthshire, Pitcaithly and bannocks, my featured image is of waters rushing through Cheddar.

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