Rout Biscuits

Rout Biscuits with dried cherry on top

A very yummy , sweet, crispy, light and chewy all at once cookie! Well in England it’s known as a biscuit but all I know is it’s very easy and very special, perfect for tea time. Made simply from almond meal, sugar, egg whites and almond essence.

These clover shapes were made using a different plate.

I read that these were “popular accompaniments to a glass of wine or sherry at routs or fashionable gatherings in the 18th and 19th centuries.” It comes from Middlesex England. Your supposed to put a bit of glace cherry on top but I hate them, so I used dried cherries.

Crisp on the outside and chewy inside.

Now I didn’t know what a Rout was…did you? Well I looked it up and the only definitions I can find have to do with disorderly retreats (battle), a noisy rabble, to root or poke (like a pig!), a disorderly crowd of persons! Well I didn’t read anything about “fashionable gatherings”! Until I found an article on Huffinton Post that had a great article all about Nut Biscuits (cookies) from different countries. Reading about them gives me some ideas that might be creative to try out. (I’m sorry they took the link down so I removed it! Wish I had copied it)

I made some using a heart shaped plate.

You can easily try different shapes by just changing the round plate on the end of the press, no need to empty the it first. I made these heart shapes, depending on how much dough you squeeze out will make them fat or thin.

My old dough press, love it!

I bought this old press at the thrift store or a garage sale and I love it. It doesn’t have all the parts but I can still use many of the plates. Some are a bit spotty-old but that doesn’t hurt anything.

This is the press with the plate in it, and dough.

This is what the press looks like on the end the dough comes out, I have the ‘star’ plate in it.

Three plates and the cookies they make.

This shows the three plates and the cookies they make, a heart, star or blossom and what I’d call a clover. The blossom or star is great for putting a bit of jelly or fruit on top and I guess the clover is too.

Golden and hot from the oven!

Rout Biscuits

6 oz (3/4 c + 2 T + 1 tsp) castor sugar (or reg white sugar)
6 oz (1 3/4 c) ground almonds
2 egg whites (about 5 1/2 T)
1/8 tsp almond essence (extract)
A little beaten egg yolk to glaze (if you want, I didn’t bother)
small pieces of glace cherries (or dried cherries I used), angelica or flaked almond for decoration

1. Set oven to 350 F

2. Mix sugar and almonds, you can weigh them into the same bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with a fork a bit to break them up. I made a small depression in the centre of the mix
and poured the egg whites in then added the almond essence to it and mixed it into the egg, before mixing
all up into the almond-sugar. If you’re using up egg whites from other recipes, just measure out the 5 1/2 T.

4. Mix it and cream it very well. Let it sit while you grease a cookie sheet and give it another mix when you’re
ready. Another recipe I found suggested letting it sit an hour, so go ahead and make these up and let them sit while you clean up the kitchen! Spoon into a pastry press or an icing bag with a star tip and pipe into stars or using the press try
different shapes. I liked the heart, 4 leaved clover and the big star; that one is nice for the cherry. You can add
a sprinkle of colored sugar if you like.  I didn’t glaze with egg but maybe I’ll try if I start with whole eggs next time.

5. Press or pipe directly onto greased sheets and press pieces of dried cherry or glace cherry into tops if you like. You can also sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 8-10 min, until golden all around edges.

Some of the dough in the bowl.

Here’s some of the Rout Biscuit dough in the bowl, waiting for the press. A note from me, I have never had a ‘Rout Biscuit’ before so I wasn’t sure the consistency of the dough. I’m not sure if it should be stiffer, resulting in a less puffy biscuit? All I know is they tasted dandy!

Bob’s Red Mill almond meal flour.

I bought this at my local ‘Tops’ grocery store in the organic section, but it was EXPENSIVE!  More than $10, yikes!

Lots of Rout Biscuits waiting to be sampled.

These biscuits (or cookies) keep well in a tightly sealed container. Have you ever made Rout Biscuits or eaten them? If so please leave me a comment about them.

Below are links to glossy cards I made with the recipes on, you can keep them or send them!

“Rout Biscuits” Glossy Post Card
“Rout Biscuits” Recipe Card with customizable text
It’d be fun to mail this to a friend who loves baking! Maybe a birthday or to drop a hint that you want cookies!
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Spiced Fruit Scones

Cranberry Spice Scones hot from the oven!

This is a great simple scone recipe that I got from the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland website; I guess it was so popular in their cafe that people asked for the recipe.

A plateful of hot scones waiting for butter

I don’t know, to me they look like just a basic recipe but they are very good!

Golden brown on top

You can make them with dried cranberries as I did, or use the ‘usual’ raisins which would be just as nice!

I can't wait to tuck into these, the tea is ready!

A very easy recipe to make, I added the measurements in parenthesis to make it easier for those who like to use ounces.

225g self raising flour (8 oz)
55g butter, softened (2 oz)
25g caster sugar (1 oz or 1 ½ T)
125g sultanas, raisins or dried cranberries (scant 1 c)
1 teaspoon mixed spice (this is what made them different, I guess you could use cinnamon but mixed spice was marvelous!)
150ml milk (5 oz or between 2/3 – ¾ c)
pinch of salt

Preparation method
1.    Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2.    Mix together the flour, mixed spice, salt and rub in the butter.
3.    Stir in the sugar & sultanas or dried cranberries and then the milk to get a soft dough.
4.    Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. (** see notes below) Pat out to a round 2cm thick.  Use a cutter to stamp out shapes and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.
5.    Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. (or just do like me, put a tiny bit of milk in a cup and just use your fingers to pat the milk on the tops, it’s so easy and quick.) Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
6.    Cool on a wire rack

** If your dough seems too wet and sticky, just sprinkle a liberal amount of flour on the counter, dust the dough in the bowl with flour and gather it into a ball lightly. Put on the counter and with floured hands pat it out a bit.

** Knead it by folding it over and patting it out and repeat a few times. Don’t let it stick to the counter, just lift it up and flour the counter more. It should only take you a couple minutes to do this, make them often and you’ll get to be a real expert!

** DO NOT TWIST your cutter when you cut them out, just push straight down. If you have a good cutter it should be sharp and solid, I can tell the difference now that I have a ‘proper’ one!

** oh yes another tip, scones like to be near their neighbor while baking, put them about 1″ apart on the greased sheet.

** I also think these would be marvelous with dried Apricots!  Next time…

Ready and waiting for butter!

They’re great served warm with soft butter, honey or jam and clotted cream if you’ve got it!

Apple Dappy Makes Me Happy!

Apple Dappy hot from the oven

Apple Dappy, I think it was the name that first grabbed me, it sounded like something from an English children’s storybook. Or something you’d hear in a nursery rhyme…hmm…if there isn’t one maybe I’ll make one up someday.

oh yum…spices, apples, pastry and lemon sauce….ohhh can’t wait!

I saw the recipe in a very old cookbook I have in England, “Farmhouse Kitchen II”, a great little paperback that’s full of traditional recipes by housewives from all around Great Britain. It has no photographs so I had to use my imagination to think of how it might look.

Apple Dappy hot from the oven close up..mmm…smell it

It was a stab in the dark to say the least…I mean I never made a recipe where you poured a lot of liquid over dough, I worried it might be sloppy, heavy and wet but it wasn’t!

Apple Dappy is baked with a wonderful fresh lemon sauce over it!

In England “Pudding” or “Afters” refers to having dessert in general. A popular type of pudding is made by using dough and fruit then baking with liquid over it, I think an example would be “Eve’s Pudding”. You can see all the juicyness in the photo above after I scooped out some servings.

Cool, fresh cream drizzled over the hot roll and lemon sauce, oh wow!

I spooned some of this lemony sauce over the ‘roll’ then we drizzled single cream all over the top; you can also serve it with custard.  Now pouring cream on a dessert or liquid warm custard are also new things to me (in America), it’s very “British”! (my boyfriend loves custard on everything).

Served in a bowl hot, spongy and crisp at the same time.

I was happy with the results and glad my boyfriend approved as I love to bake for him and especially try to learn traditional recipes.  Believe me when I say it was EASY! Really!

Here’s the recipe then a few pictures of it unbaked for you to see after. First you make the sauce then the apple roll with an easy scone type dough.

“Apple Dappy”

Syrup:
1 lemon – juice of and thin rind strip
1 T golden syrup
1/2 oz butter (1 T)
4 oz sugar (1/2 c + 1 T)
7 oz water

Pastry:
8 oz self raising flour (2 c)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 oz butter
5 oz / 150 ml / almost 2/3 c milk

1 lb / 16 oz cooking apples

1 T demarara (brown) sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp mixed spice

1. Grease a 8″ or 9″ square dish (I used my glass pyrex) with butter. Turn on oven to 375 f / 190 c.

2. Peel a thin strip of rind from the lemon, just go around the middle of the lemon, and put it with the juice of the lemon into a small pot. Add other syrup ingrediets and heat over low until melted and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside. (I left mine for a bit and it actually boiled, but was ok!)

3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

4. Rub butter into flour, or use pastry blender then rub in till it looks like breadcrumbs.

5. Mix milk in to make dough, I didn’t add it all at once, leave a bit as you mix to see how dough comes together. Knead lightly on floured surface, then roll out to 1/4 ” thick to make a rectangle about 8″ x 5″ or 12″ x 8″. (Original recipe said 8×5 but mine got bigger than that, hey it’s just dough and apples, don’t sweat it!)

6. Peel, core, slice then chop up the apples, my recipe took about 2 c of chopped apples. Put them on the pastry but keep them away from edges.

7. Mix spices with brown sugar in a small bowl, sprinkle over the apples. (* The original recipe called for a mixture of or one of the spices, to equal 1/2 tsp. I used all I listed and it was great, I don’t think it’d be as good if it didn’t have the spices.) Then roll up pastry and apples like a swiss roll, pinching to seal edges, then cut into 1″ thick slices.  Use a sharp knife and cut carefully, use your fingers to hold the roll in place when you cut gently.

8. Grease a 8″ or 9″ dish, I used my pyrex dish, and lay slices on their sides in the dish. Arrange to make them fit and take the little bit of dough that’s left from the ends and push more apples into them then tuck into spaces between rolls.

9. Remove lemon rind from syrup and pour over slices. Make sure you taste the drippings in the pot, it’s really good!  Bake 375 f / 190 c for 30-35 min. (mine took 35 in a little oven) Serve with cream or custard.

** Don’t miss my notes at the end!

Recipe from Joan Guy- Tavistock, Devon from the  “Farmhoue Kitchen II’ book.

Apple Dappy unbaked in greased dish

Here’s how it looks unbaked, all the rolls pushed into a dish, 8×8″ or 9×9″, they will puff and raise up quite a bit so make sure the pan isn’t too shallow.

Apple Dappy unbaked.

You can see how chock full of apples it is, I thought it’d be way too much as I rolled it and pushed to keep them in. No…just right!

Apple Dappy unbaked close up.

**You can see where I squished one of the end bits into the corner here; it was mostly dough so I pushed some apples into it and sugar spice mixture and just fit it in. There were two pieces left from either end of the roll.

**I forgot to mention, I made the rolls up a few hours before dinner and let them sit in the dish without the sauce. I put the sauce ingredients together in a pan but didn’t heat it. When dinner was done I heated the sauce, then poured it over the waiting pastry, popped it into a preheated oven and just waited as the house filled with wonderful smells of apples, cinnamon and lemon.

Please let me know if you try to make this, I’d love to hear how it comes out for you. I think it’d be tasty made with apples and rhubarb too, or apples and raisins. Any other ideas? I can’t wait to have leftovers tonight!

Did you know I’ve been taking some great photos along with my paintings of the English countryside and nature while in Northumberland England? Visit my Zazzle Shop to see all the great pics, look under Landscapes-England. All are printed on glossy heavy weight stock if you decide to order any.

Scone Base Pizza

Scone Base Pizza

Hot out of the oven

I learned this easy recipe from a friend I made in Northumberland England. She’s in her 80’s and a superb baker, known throughout the area as such, and I love talking to her about baking. Well this recipe she gave me because my boyfriend had it at her house once and always talked about it. I’m glad she shared it with me as it’s fast and easy to make, and you can change it to suit your family. A simple easy dinner. Perfect for two!

Scone Base Pizza (dough)

1 1/3 c (6 oz.) Self Raising Flour
3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) Cold Butter
pinch of salt
enough milk to make dough, about 5 Tablespoons or so.

measuring the flour

1. Measure flour into a medium bowl and sprinkle the pinch of salt over it. Always spoon your flour into measuring cups to keep it light and airy, level it off carefully so as not to pack it down.

2. Cut 3 T of butter off a stick (or measure it out if you don’t have sticks) and with a sharp knife, cut into bits into the flour.

Using the pastry blender

3. Use a pastry blender to mix the butter into small crumbs, you can further incorporate it into the flour using your finger tips and ‘pinching’ it in as shown below. You can also just use your fingers instead of the pastry blender at all. This is great exercise for your fingers and something you could teach the kids to help with.

Pinching the butter in with your fingers

4. Add about 5 Tablespoons of milk to make a dough, toss it lightly at first to wet the ingredients then mix and squish with your fingers to form dough.

Add milk and form dough

5. Pat the dough in your hands to flatten into a disc, then on a floured board roll out into a circle or oval. Put the dough on parchment or ‘greaseproof’ paper.

Roll dough out with rolling pin

On parchment paper, ready for the oven

6. Top with what you want. sauteed onion, peppers, mushrooms, cooked chicken or turkey, sliced fresh tomato, a little red sauce or just some olive oil. Lastly top with lots of shredded cheese of your choice.

A well used pizza stone, hot in the oven

7. Have your oven preheated 400 F / 200 C with a pizza stone in it if possible. If you don’t have a pizza stone it’s ok. Just slide the pizza, keeping it on the paper, onto the hot stone or on a hot cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Notes:

  • We like it with sauteed onion on the dough that’s brushed with olive oil. Top with sliced fresh tomatoes and cheese.
  • You can divide the dough into smaller pieces and put different toppings on them, great for letting kids help.
  • I have heard that if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can try turning a big cast iron pan over, let it heat in the oven and use the bottom of it as the stone. I leave my cast iron pans in the oven when I bake, the heat is good for them and it helps keep the heat of the oven consistently distributed.

Let me know if you try it and how it came out for you!

Don’t forget to visit my website and look around my galleries while you eat your pizza, then visit my shop on Zazzle and see all the beautiful gifts, note cards and prints of my paintings and photos!

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