|This year's Easter biscuits, baked 22nd April.|
I have memories of my Dad making these biscuits almost every Easter, way back when. . . way back when I was a child living in South Wales. It turns out that Easter Biscuits are a tradition based in the South-West of England, which makes sense as that is where he is from. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact recipe that dad used, but this year and last I have used a variation on the one in my "A Second Helping - More from Ladies, a Plate" book by Alexa Johnston, with a nod to the Easter Bunny Biscuits recipe I found online. I also more than doubled the amount of spice and lemon used in either recipe, for extra flavour. I found an excellent blog called "Baking for Britain" which has lots of history on the origin of Easter Biscuits as well as a recipe for Sedgemoor Easter Cakes (which are actually biscuits!) Sadly it seems that the "Baking for Britain" blog ground to a halt last November, but there are still lots of archives to trawl through. . .
Anyway, here's the recipe I used:
10 oz/280 g butter, softened
8 oz/230 g caster sugar (and extra for the tops)
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
4 egg yolks (keep one egg white to brush on the tops, and use the rest in a pavlova!!)
1 lb/450 g plain white flour
3/4 cup currants
3 tsps ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line several baking sheets with baking paper.
- Cream butter, sugar and lemon rind together then add egg yolks and mix well.
- Mix in flour, currants and cinnamon until you have a stiff paste. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 mins to make it more workable.
- Roll out thinly (about 2-3 mm thick) and cut out large circles or Easter shapes from the dough.
- Place biscuits on baking -apered tins, then brush biscuit tops with lightly whisked egg white and sprinkle generously with sugar.
- Bake for 15 mins or so, aiming for a light golden colour.
- These keep well in an airtight tin.