Rutland Plum Shuttles


Staying with the theme of ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’....... and the County theme, here is a traditional Valentine’s Day recipe from our smallest county. The Plum Shuttle, a slightly richer than usual yeast-leavened bun, was made by the hand-weavers of the Vale of Belvoir and was baked in the shape of their weaving shuttles. Rutland Plum Shuttles were carried around on Valentine's day to give as a present to the love of your life, should you happen to meet one!

Ingredients - makes 12

1lb (450g) plain flour 2oz (50g) butter
½ teaspoon salt 4fl oz (125ml) warm milk
½ tablespoon caster sugar 1 egg (plus some beaten egg for glazing)
2fl oz (50ml) warm water 8oz (225g) currants
½oz (15g) fresh or ½ teaspoon dried yeast  


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Cream the yeast and sugar together and mix with the water.
  3. Leave to stand for 20 mins until frothy.
  4. Melt the fat in a pan with the milk and beat in the egg.
  5. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and salt and mix in the currants.
  6. Mix to a smooth dough and knead well on a floured board.
  7. Cover and leave to rise until double in size (usually about 30 mins in a warm place).
  8. Knock back and knead again.
  9. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into a small oval shape.
  10. Place on a greased baking tray and cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 30 mins in a warm place.
  11. Heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
  12. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.

Is there anyone else out there who finds that ‘cooling on a wire rack’ always leads to a decrease in the number of items baked. I am sure that 12 went on the cooling rack; and yet only 11 when I went back into the kitchen? My Official Taster tells me that things decrease on cooling. I didn’t do physics at school so I can’t argue!