Fat Rascals

"Please can you let me know how to make fat rascals," writes Dennis Smith, of Ewell, Surrey. "They're a cross between a scone and a rock cake, and I've eaten them at Betty's Tearooms in York, but apparently the recipe is a closely guarded secret." We asked Yorkshire-born food writer and fellow fat-rascal fan, Liz Franklin, for her own delicious take on the recipe.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes 50 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 150g plain flour, sieved
  • 150g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 130g cold butter, cubed
  • 90g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 150g mixed dried fruit (try currants, raisins and sultanas in equal quantities)
  • 50ml milk
  • To finish:
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Glacé cherries and blanched almonds, to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Sieve both flours and the baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, citrus zests, spices and dried fruit and mix well. Add the beaten egg and enough milk (about 50ml) to bring the mixture together into a soft dough. Form the mixture into 6 saucer-sized rounds, about 2cm deep.
  3. Mix the egg yolk, water and salt together to make a glaze and brush this over the fat rascals. Decorate with the cherries and almonds. Transfer to a non-stick baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Fat rascals are best served warm from the oven but they can be frozen and reheated in a low oven. You can serve them alone or with plenty of butter and they're also gorgeous for brunch served with vanilla-scented Mascarpone.