"I was born in Wales, and yet my mother, whose recipe I’ve seconded and adapted here, is English. She vouches for its authenticity, and I can tell you it’s made me happy as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult. I’ve now started making them for my son, and the heritage lives on in the kitchen at least." Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
These are pretty much a fried scone and are packed with long-lasting dried fruits, perfect for those colder nights.
- 300 g (2 cups) self-raising flour
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- generous pinch ground cinnamon
- 125 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 75 g (½ cup) currants
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1-2 tbsp buttermilk
- extra butter, for pan-frying and caster sugar for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the zest, currants, egg and a touch of buttermilk. Knead to make a fairly firm dough. You may need to add more buttermilk if the dough is dry. Try not to work it too much or your cakes will be tough.
Roll out the dough or press out on a lightly floured surface until about 1.5 cm-thick. Using a 4.5 cm pastry cutter, stamp out rounds.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over low-medium heat. Add a touch of butter and fry the cakes in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Check them often to make sure they don’t burn. Sprinkle with extra caster sugar and serve straight away, traditionally with a pot of tea. Or omit the sugar and serve with some good jam.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.