This blog was created for those who want to enjoy cooking more (or even at all!). It's a place for old recipes, new recipes, and the special (and not so special) tips and techniques that will make cooking and baking an easier, healthier, more cost-effective experience.
Monday, January 16, 2012
What's in the Oven? What is a Fat Rascal?
I follow The English Kitchen, a delightful blog from England. I have never met - online or otherwise - the author of this blog, but I'm really hoping someday I'll have the opportunity to meet her. She writes wonderful posts about her family and her life and I am completely infatuated with all things British - literature, television, films, cooking, everyday life! It's my dream to someday take a trip to England.
Anyway, Marie, the author of The English Kitchen, posted a recipe for Fat Rascals a couple of weeks ago. I think England has such interesting names for their food (dont' you?) and I when I saw that post I just had to find out what a Fat Rascal is. I mean, how can you not want to know what a Fat Rascal is?
As it turns out, a Fat Rascal is similar to a biscuit here in the U.S. Marie's recipe is a very basic biscuit recipe, having only 6 ingredients. Reading through the recipe, I noticed the recipe she posted also did not use eggs, baking powder, or any type of spices commonly found in biscuit recipes.
I followed Marie's recipe and didn't alter the ingredients. I did, however, make a couple of changes. First, I used raisins instead of currents because I had raisins on hand and didn't want to make a trip to the store for just one thing. Marie's recipe called for dried currents, but I don't care for the texture of dried raisins, so I soaked my raisins in hot water and used used that water in the recipe. If you do this, remember to soak first, then measure. The only other change I made was in the mixing process. I used a stand mixer instead of mixing by hand. If you do make these by hand, the easiest way to incorporate the butter into the flour is to rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips. As for sifting the flour, a really easy way to achieve this is to combine your dry ingredients - flour, salt, and sugar - in the bowl and mix it with a whisk until the dry ingredients are well blended. Voilá! Your dry ingredients are sifted.
In addition to being really easy to make, these biscuits are flaky and moist. Fat Rascals are great with coffee and make a beautiful addition to a Sunday brunch.
Marie is also a very talented artist. You can see her artwork at another one of her blogs, The Artful Heart.
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tbsp. sugar + more for dusting
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup dried currents (may substitute raisins)
2-3 fluid ounces milk and water, mixed
Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C. Grease baking sheet with butter and set aside.
Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut (or rub) butter into flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the currents. Using a fork, stir in enough milk/water to make a firm dough. Pat dough to a 1/2" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3" rounds with a sharp biscuit or cookie cutter. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Dust lightly with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a pale golden color. Cook on a wire rack.