Plum Shuttle Buns are made anytime of the year, but particularly for Valentine’s Day, when they are called “Valentine Buns.”
They are made from flour, sugar, milk, yeast, butter, chopped peel and currants.
Everything is mixed together in 3 short steps to make a soft dough that is allowed for rise for just under an hour, then punched down and patted out. Pieces are cut off and shaped into buns resembling a weaver’s shuttle (i.e. lozenge-shaped), or for Valentine’s Day, a heart.
The buns are let rise for 1/4 hour, then baked until golden brown.
Recipes originally included a small amount of sweet, plum filling, which recipes nowadays sadly omit.
Sometimes caraway seeds are added.
Literature & Lore
They are particularly traditional on Valentine’s Day around Peterborough, Cambridge, shaped as hearts, and on the same day in Rutland County, just north-west of Peterborough, shaped as shuttles.