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Flies Graveyard

Flies Graveyard is a British dish consisting of sweet pastries with currant or raisin fillings. It consists of a layer of currants or raisins sandwiched between two layers of pastry or cookie. Flies Graveyards are called fruit squares or fruit slices in Scotland, fly pies or fly cakes in North Eastern Britain and currant squares in Northern Ireland.


Flies Graveyard is made by sandwiching currant or raisin mixture between pastry or cookie layers. The pastry dough may be simple dough made with flour, butter, salt and water, or with additional ingredients like egg and sugar. Choice of dough is responsible for the level of crunchiness or softness which varies in different versions. Currant mixture for some recipes may include vinegar for a sharpness of taste. Raisins, currants, sugar, water, corn flour and mixed spice are boiled together to make the currant filling. Some recipes suggest addition of currants to the pastry flour as well so that some 'dead flies' may be seen on the outer part of the dish.

Flies Graveyard can be frosted or sprinkled with powdered sugar . The former gives it an appearance of white tombstones.


Flies Graveyard are easily available in bakeries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some companies also manufacture and sell these fruit squares on a commercial scale.


  • Garibaldi Biscuit: This is a form of cookie consisting of a generous quantity of currant between two layers of cookies. It has been produced in Britain since the 1800s and may not be frosted or sugar-sprinkled like classic flies graveyard. They have the appearance of soda crackers, except that they are softer, chewier and sweet. Some companies manufactured chocolate flavored versions of these biscuits which have now been discontinued.

  • Eccles Cake:This is a large round pastry of flaky texture with lots of raisins or currants in it. Its origin dates back to 18th century Britain.

  • Sweet Mince Pies: This is a dish holding close resemblance to Flies Graveyard. It is prepared during Christmas time in England, and the typical ingredients of the traditional version are minced meat, fruits, suet, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The original version was large and oblong shaped but the newer versions are smaller in size. The dish was disliked by the Puritans during the Civil War in England as it was considered associated with Catholic 'idolatory'.

Further Reading

Flies graveyard as edited by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome & John McBrewster