sedgemoor easter biscuits
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My Easter baking repertoire expands: I’ve just come across these West Country biscuits, to be nibbled alongside chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday – if you’re able to just ‘nibble’ at chocolate eggs, that is.
Sedgemoor is the western part of Somerset, England, the bit southwest of Bath which you don’t usually think of as Somerset (but it’s probably just my geography unusually shoddy). Lovely food and drink there – we all know of Cheddar and cider and now it turns out they do a good biscuit, and for Easter!
This particular recipe uses a mix of wholemeal and plain white flours and – slightly dubious as I might have been about its authenticity (it’s from NY Times Cooking) - it is a winner as the biscuits taste more interestingly crunchy and earthy, less like something you might find next to your coffee cup in any old café.
They should be presented in stacks of three, tied with a ribbon. Of course it was impossible to find a damn ribbon in the house…
sedgemoor easter biscuitsServings: 2 dozen biscuitsTime: 50 minutes
- 100g dried currants or raisins
- 20g brandy
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 120g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 110g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp mixed spice
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 1 large egg, beaten
- For the icing:
- 90g icing sugar
- 4 tsp milk
1. Place the currants in a bowl or a zip lock bag, heat up the brandy in the microwave and pour it over the currants. Seal the bag or cover the bowl.
2. Mix both flours with the salt, dice in the butter and mix with an electric mixer until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir the spices and vanilla seeds from half the pod (leave the rest for the icing) into the caster sugar and add to the flour mixture. Add the egg and the currants and mix on low speed until it all just blends together – it will look very much like wet sand. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead into a ball.
3. Roll it out to a disc about 1 ½ - 2cm thick. Using a 6cm round cookie cutter (scalloped if you have one) cut the biscuits and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. They can go quite close together as they only spread a little.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes until set and pale golden.
5. For the icing, mix the remaining vanilla seeds into milk in a small cup, warm it up a little in the microwave and pour into a bowl with icing sugar, beating well until smooth.
6. Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush them with icing straight away. Leave them to set and brush another layer on top. Leave them to cool completely, and then tie them with a ribbon in stacks of three, if you like.