Saturday morning coffee break.
Fat Rascals are most traditionally served in Yorkshire (England) for afternoon tea, but I always associate them with Saturday morning coffee with my Dad. They are one of his absolute favourites, and when my parents moved away from Yorkshire a couple of years ago and were unable to buy them, my Mum had to start making her own.
For this Fat Rascal recipe you will need:
100g (4oz) mixed dried fruit
1 tablespoon brandy
grated zest of 1 orange
225g (8oz) self raising flour (sifted)*
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
100g (4oz) butter
75g (3oz) sugar
1 egg (beaten)
glace cherries and blanched almonds (to decorate)
* I have found I cannot buy good self-raising flour in Canada, so use all-purpose instead. For this recipe I substitute 3 teaspoons of all-purpose flour for 3 teaspoons of baking powder.
Makes 6 Fat Rascals
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 400F / Mark 6 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Place the dried fruit into a bowl and add the grated orange zest. Pour the brandy and 1 tablespoon of water over the fruit and microwave on a high heat for 1 minute. Leave the fruit to cool. (If you prefer not to microwave the fruit it can be left to soak in the brandy overnight).
- Measure the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and butter into a bowl. Rub together until the mixture takes on the texture of fine breadcrumbs. I use my Kitchen Aid to do this (but it could be done by hand).
- Add the sugar and prepared fruit and gently mix.
- Add the beaten egg and milk and mix together. You will find this forms a fairly sticky batter.
- Divide the batter into six (or if you want to make smaller “rascals” 10). Roll each piece into a ball, place on the prepared baking sheet and gently pat down with your hand (you could roll out properly and use a cutter, but I prefer a more haphazard shape as I think it adds to their quirky charm). Do not place them too close together as they increase quite a bit in size whilst cooking.
- Top each one with half a cherry (for the nose) and almonds (for the eyes), to form the “rascals” face, and brush with a little milk.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes. They can burn very quickly, so keep a close eye on them.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Fabulous buttered, with a large cup of coffee and your feet up.