I love that festivities and food are so intertwined. With birthdays come cake, with Christmas comes cake and with Easter comes, err, biscuits. I know many of you will be enjoying Simnel cake, hot cross buns and countless chocolate eggs (and, after my sugar-free stint, I will definitely be joining you) but ever since I can remember we've had Easter Biscuits at this time of the year.
Apparently Easter Biscuits were developed as a lighter, simpler alternative to Hot Cross Buns or Hot Cross Bums as I mistakenly typed to Mr AB the other day (now that would be an interesting recipe). These buttery little biscuits are warm with spices and packed with currants. What makes them really special is the egg white and sugar crust which tops them. Delicious.
I've seen variations of this recipe using different types of dried fruits but I like to keep things traditional. These biscuits are always made with the same recipe from my Mum's 1970s Readers Digest cook book. You can tell that these are one of Mum's favourite recipes because they're one of the few that have the calorie count worked out alongside clearly from her diligent Weight-Watchers days. That said, I've increased the amount of currants slightly and added a little grating of fresh nutmeg.
If you fancy making an Easter treat for someone or , indeed, yourself you can whip these up in 15 or so minutes and have them fresh out of the oven to enjoy. Unfortunately I didn't get to try this batch (only one week to go until I escape my sugar free prison). Instead, I wrapped them up and took them to a friend's birthday lunch. It took discipline to hand them over.
Makes 24 biscuits
5oz caster sugar
2 large eggs (one separated)
6oz plain flour
2oz rice flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
half a grated nutmeg (optional)
1-2 tablespoons milk
- Grease a couple of baking trays or line them with non-stick paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Cream the butter with a wooden spoon until soft and add 4oz of the sugar. Beat the sugar and butter until it is light, soft and fluffy.
- Add the whole egg and the egg yolk of the second one to the butter mixture. Beat the eggs into the sugar. Add the currants.
- Sift the flours together with the spices and mix them into the the creamed ingredients a little at a time. Stir to combine and add a little milk if necessary. You want a soft, pliable dough.
- Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface and then roll it out until it is about half a centimetre thick. Cut your biscuits with a fluted cutter and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- After 10 minutes brush the biscuits with the egg white and dredge with the remaining sugar. Return to the oven until the biscuits are golden and the tops are blistered.