|knobbly Easter biscuits|
These spicy, fruited biscuits were traditionally eaten in England at Easter, very likely originating in the West Country. In theory, they should be flattened and regular shape, with a fluted edge. Unfortunately, my rather lumpy looking biscuits are as a result of not flattening them out, not using a fluted biscuit cutter and realising at the last minute that I didn't have any currants and subsituting my never-ending Christmas mincemeat. Again.
One thing I can assure you, is that currants or mincemeat, it's all dried fruit in the end and the resulting biscuits were soft, crumbly, packed with spiced fruit and absolutely delicious.
Skill level: Easy
Makes about 30 small biscuits
110g butter, at room temperature
80g caster sugar (I use vanilla sugar)
1 x egg, separated
200g plain flour, sifted
a pinch of salt (optional - use if using unsalted butter)
1 tsp of mixed spice (or a mixture of mixed spice and cinnamon)
50g currants (or mincemeat)
1tbsp mixed peel
zest of l lemon, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp milk (or brandy)
caster sugar to sprinkle over the top of the biscuits
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Beat the sugar for a couple of minutes before adding the sugar. Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk and beat well.
- Sift together the flour, spices and salt if using.
- Mix this well with the biscuit batter.
- Stir in the fruit, peel and zest.
- Add a little of the milk or brandy and bring together to the dough. (It shouldn't be too stiff).
- Knead the dough very briefly on a lighly floured surface.
- Roll out until about a ½ cm thick.
- Using a 6cm fluted biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits and place, about 1 cm apart, on the lightly greased baking tray.
- Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
- Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Beat the egg white.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush the tops with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle over the caster sugar. Return to the oven and continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the biscuits are a light golden brown.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- These biscuits keep very well in an airtight container
- Replace 50g of the plain flour with rice flour. This will give the biscuits a shorter, crumblier texture..