I tried this unusual recipe from a very very old recipe book, and I’m glad that I did. It is from Marguerite Patten’s ‘500 recipes for jams, pickles, chutneys (2/6 – which is 2 shillings and 6 pence, total 12 1/2p)
- 1 kg rhubarb, cut into slices
- 1 kg sugar
- 200g raisins
- 1 lemon
- 100ml cointreau or orange juice
- Put the sliced rhubarb into a jam pan, and cover with the sugar. Leave overnight
- Put the raisins or sultanas in a bowl with the orange juice or cointreau
- In the morning, bring the rhubarb and sugar to a simmer, and add the raisins. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, then add the rind and juice of a large lemon
- Boil until the syrup is thick, and pour into jars to set.
This is a classic American recipe. I was taking advice from my daughters about what sort of biscuits to bake for some visitors, and I was asked to make something like flapjack, but softer. This fitted the bill. It is an easy and delicious recipe.
- 125g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or allspice
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 115g butter
- 100g muscovado sugar (or other soft brown sugar)
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g rolled porridge oats
- 150g raisins or sultanas
- Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
- Cream the butter and both types of sugar together, until well combined and soft.
- Beat in the vanilla extract, and then slowly beat in the egg.
- Add the flour mixture and then add the oats and raisins, and mix until the cookie dough is even and all the ingredients well dispersed.
- Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line two baking trays with grease-proof paper.
- Once the dough is chilled, take a teaspoon and scoop out lumps of cookie dough. Each lump should be rolled into a ball about the size of a ping-pong ball. Put each ball on the prepared baking trays and gently squish a little to make the ball a little flat. The cookies should be well-spaced to make sure they don’t coalesce whilst baking. You should be able to get 11 to 12 cookies on each tray.
- Bake in separate batches for 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are beginning to go golden brown, and the top is set.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baking tray for around 5 minutes, before transferring them onto a wire rack.
If you skip the bit about chilling them for 30 minutes, the biscuits will end up flatter; a personal choice. They are nice slightly thicker because they are soft in the middle.