Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Fly Cemetery

The good old Fly Cemetery

Fly Cemeteries

It is delicious, sweet, savoury, sticky and yummy all wrapped up in a neat little iced square

It is finger liking-ly scrumptious and something we miss from home in Scotland

Why are they called Fly Cemeteries by us funny Scot's you ask?

Because that's exactly what they look like, the raisins or currants are reminiscent of a collection of dead flies in their last resting place, the Fly Cemetery, ready to be eaten

I'm serious, you can go into a Baker's Shop in Scotland and ask for "two Fly Cemeteries and an Irn Bru please" and no-one will bat an eyelid, we are a funny bunch, us Scot's, with the funniest sense of humour when it comes to food, I love it

This name is something that has been around a while, my mum and dad remember them being named this when they were small

They also go by the more civilized name of Fruit Slice but I prefer the cheekier Fly Cemetery

Again this type of sweet is up there as a favourite of Mr TT

He was a happy chappy today when he came home from work to a plate of Fly Cemeteries

To make these delicious fruit squares

You will need

For the Fruit filling
2 Cups Raisins
1 Cup  Currants (if you cant get currants use 3 cups raisins, total)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
1 tsp All Spice

fruit mixture ingredients

For the Shortcrust Pastry
14oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Butter
Pinch of salt
Cold water

For the icing 
4 cups Powdered/Icing Sugar
Cold water

Makes 20 squares

  • Put all Fruit filling ingredients into a large pot and boil continuously for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens and reduces, leave to the side to cool
fruit mixture ingredients, ready for the boil

Thick, reduced fruit mixture

  • While fruit is cooling, make your Shortcrust pastry. Shortcrust needs to be light and full of air and handled as little as possible

  • Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl getting plenty of air in there

  • Rub all the Butter into the Flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, try using blunt knives to work it in to reduces handling
Add in the butter

Breadcrumbs consistency

  • Add some cold water a little at a time, sprinkling over and knead until a soft dough, don't over knead as you will lose the air
Elastic Shortcrust dough

  • cut the mixture in two, roll out the two halves over a floured surface

  • Lay out first rolled pastry onto a greased 9 x 6 cookie sheet/baking tray

  • Spread the "Flies" Fruit Mixture on top, then lay 2nd rolled pastry on top of that

  • Brush top with milk and put in oven at 375 F/190C for 20 minutes 
Cooling, just out the oven

  • Take out of oven and leave to cool

  • Once cool, make up Icing adding a little water at a time to make a thick paste, making sure it is stiff, smooth on top  and leave to set

  • Once set, cut into 20 squares and lift out one slice at a time
Fruit Slice/Fly Cemeteries

Enjoy your Fly cemetery with a nice cup of tea or a creamy coffee or

If you are Mr TT, enjoy your 3 Fly Cemeteries in one sitting

Fly Cemeteries

Note: other toppings you can use instead of Icing
         Sugar - Just sprinkle sugar over milk before going into oven
         Powdered Sugar - Sprinkle over top once out of oven and cooled


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  1. I'm so happy I found this recipe! My grandmother used to make these!

  2. thankyou for the recipe taste was just like being back home will make them every week now :)

  3. I love your "scottish" recipes. My Mum was from Dundee. She used to make something very similar to your "fly cemeteries" but she always referred to them as "bug squashers". Ever heard them called this? Keep all these delicious recipes coming!

  4. I have been looking for this recipe for years. All that used to make this when I was a kid have passed on.

  5. I just returned from Scotland where I got a fruit slice at Wallace Monument café. My grandma (from Perth) used to make this and called it currant cakes. When I asked the server about it, she said "we also call it fly cemetery" and I cracked up! I have looked unsuccessfully for YEARS to find this recipe (since I called it currant cakes), so thank you for this! My dad will be ecstatic when I serve him this. Can't wait to make it.

  6. This used to be my Mothers favourite,we called it "Fleas Midden", my mother has passed but my husband loves them,so instead of buying them I can bake them and give him a steady supply. A Great site thanks.

  7. Is it possible to double and use a 9x13 pan? I am finding it difficult to locate a 9x6.

  8. I love this recipe. I'm going to have a tea for some English and Scots, I'm going to make this for them and see what they say..

  9. Meh husband is elated! His grandma McKay used to make these for him and they were his childhood absolute favorite. He recently mentioned them to me and that he had not had them and missed them. He teared up when he saw them tonight. Then ate 3. He said they are exactly what grandma made. No adjustments follow the recipe exactly. We are much appreciative for such an authentic recipe.


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