Easter biscuits are exactly as they are described. Biscuits – in the British (accurate) sense – given to friends and family on Easter Sunday. They are lightly spiced – traditionally with cassia oil – and punctuated temptingly with intense currants.
While we’re on the topic of cassia oil, you’ll see that my recipe for Easter biscuits doesn’t include it. To be honest, it’s not an ingredient you or I would use very frequently. To waste it wouldn’t be particularly frugal. Mixed spice, instead, takes up the important task of flavouring. It’s an adequate replacement, but if you do have cassia oil on stock a few drops in lieu will do nicely.
Most importantly? Don’t use raisins or sultanas when making Easter biscuits; they aren’t an adequate replacement for currants. Currants are smaller, firmer and provide a completely different flavour, far removed from the sweetness of the other two.
Even aesthetically, raisins may ruin your little biscuits in their vain attempt to puff up and rediscover their former size. The reason? They are juicier. Unfortunately, puffed up raisins burn. Not nice, not nice at all.
Other than these biscuits, what’s the best thing about Easter? Lamb; irrefutably so. And the best thing about lamb? Leftover lamb. With my frugal spirit, constantly, in mind here’s a recipe to help you tackle that “issue”…
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 egg, separated
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 75g currants
- plain flour & caster sugar for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C(fan). Place a length of baking parchment on a suitably sized baking tray.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Incorporate the egg yolk, saving the white for meringues or a pavlova.
- Gently fold through the flour, baking powder and mixed spice. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk, just enough to bring the mixture together into a firm but malleable dough.
- Knead the currants through the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the biscuit dough out until roughly 5mm thick.
- Using a 3 inch cutter, cut out your biscuits, re-rolling when necessary. Transfer to the prepared tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through and just browning.
- Set aside to cool fully before sprinkling with caster sugar and devouring.
Cost: A simple biscuits recipe, albeit with a few currants thrown in, these Easter biscuits makes a fantastic frugal treat for any Easter table or event. The entire batch should cost no more than £1.30.