I always enjoy a nice scone with a cup of tea. But I recently read about something which may be even better – Fat Rascals. Having read up on these delicious sounding treat it seems they are very popular when bought from Bettys of Harrogate. Indeed it may be that they were first created by Bettys.
I saw many recipes, most of which were very similar with only minor variations. Of course the recipe used by Bettys is a secret so how close homemade ones are to those it is difficult to quantify. But I can certainly attest to the fact that the one I made were simply perfect with a lovely cup of tea.
The fat rascals are actually like a cross between a rock cake/bun and a scone. Stuffed full of dried fruits and spices as well as some citrus zest they are topped with glace cherries and blanched almonds.
So as well as the familiar textures and flavours the additional topping gives an even more delightful treat.
The recipes I read usually had a combination of plain flour and self raising flour, and with some baking powder too. However for mine I decided to use just self raising flour, and it worked out very well. However not everyone has self raising flour so the same amount of baking powder with 12g(3 tsp) of baking powder mixed in will work just as well.
Some recipes use dried mixed fruit which contains lemon and orange as well as currants, sultanas and raisins. I think that would be perfect if making these just before Christmas. But I decided to use just currants, sultanas and raisins for this particular recipe.
Some orange and lemon zest and mixed spice complete the line-up for flavour, apart from the topping.
Often the spicing is a combination of just cinnamon and nutmeg, but I decided on mixed spice since that gives a really wonderful flavour to almost anything.
The recipe is very simple indeed, it really is just like making scones, and can be done in an hour from start to finish.
Mine tasted so good I had to stop myself from eating more than one.
The fat rascals are best eaten on the day they are baked but they can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. Heating them in the oven for a few minutes will also refresh any that might be a little stale.
For baking time these fat rascals will be done at any time between 15 and 20 minutes. I like to bake mine until they colour well and rise nicely and feel slightly crisp on the edges. That gives me a slight crunch when eating them. But for those who want a slightly softer version a few minutes less will be fine.
Yorkshire Fat RascalsCourse: Biscuits & Cookies, CakesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
300g(2 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250 ml cup) self raising flour- see note below for plain flour
125g(9tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
100g(1/2 cup)caster sugar
3g(1 tsp) mixed spice (or use some cinnamon and nutmeg)
zest from 1 lemon
zest from 1 orange
150g(1 cup) dried fruit, 50g each of currants, sultanas and raisins
1 medium egg(large in USA)
1 medium egg white(large in USA
45ml(3 tbps) double cream, or milk, or buttermilk
pinch of salt
1 medium egg yolk(large in USA), to be use with the water for egg wash
6 glace cherries, halved
18 blanched almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F
- Line a baking tray, or two, with parchment paper
- Mix the spice and salt into the flour and stir to combine.
- Place the flour mix, sugar and zests into the bowl of a processor.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs(you can do this by rubbing the butter into the dry mixture using your hands).
- Place the mixture into a large bowl.
- Whisk the egg, egg white and cream together and add it to the dry mixture.
- Stir a little to start combining and then add the dried fruits too.
- Continue mixing with a spoon or spatula until the mixture comes together, using your hands at the end to pull it into a somewhat sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and shape into a disc which is about 1inch(2.5cm) thick.
- Place the discs on the parchment lined baking tray, leaving a good gap between each.
- Whisk the water and egg yolk together and brush over the top of each disc of dough.
- Pllace two halves of cherry on the top of each one, rather like a pair of eyes, and press gently.
- Add three blanched almonds to each one under the cherries, in a row, and press gently.
- Bake the fat rascals in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on preference for doneness.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
- If you wish to use plain flour/all purpose flour instead you can use the same amount and mix 12g(3 tsp) of baking powder into the flour to achieve the same results.