We were in Ilkley today – collecting items from auction and having a mooch around the charity shops.
We wandered passed Betty’s Tea Rooms, but didn’t go in – the breads and cakes in the window certainly looked good though.
Fat rascals are a famous offering from this establishment – and I decided to rustle up a batch when we got home. They’re quick and easy, so a perfect bake if you’re pushed for time (which I was if I wanted to get my Thursday recipe made, baked, photographed and written up in a couple of hours before posting in the evening.
I used a traditional fat rascals recipe from Old Yorkshire Recipes by Joan Poulson (which you can get on Amazon for a penny!). It contained very sketchy instructions, so I checked some of my other recipe books. I found the exact recipe, with the exact, same instructions in Mary Hanson Moore’s A Yorkshire Cookbook. Even though Betty’s and Taylors of Harrogate trademarked the name ‘Fat Rascal’ in the 1980s, the pastries have actually been in existence since the 18th century at the latest.
We love this humble little bake – a bit soft biscuit, a bit rock cake, a bit scone. The Betty’s version is bigger and fancier with its cherry and almond decoration. My fat rascals have a simple sprinkle of sugar.
They’re absolutely perfect with a cup of tea – we found that eating them just very slightly warm with cold butter was our absolute favourite, but all manner of preserves would work well too.
- 300g/10½oz plain flour
- 150g/5¼oz butter, chilled
- 75g/2⅔oz currants
- 37g/1⅓oz brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 100ml/3½ fl oz milk
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
- In a large mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour
- Add the currants, sugar and salt
- Mix in the milk, enough to make a slack dough
- Roll out to ½" thick, cut into rounds and dust with icing sugar (I think caster sugar worked better)
- Put on to the greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned
- Gorgeous served still warm with butter and fruit jam!