Yorkshire Fat Rascals – A Classic Bake from God’s Own Country
CT recently returned from a trip to York. Whilst there he popped into Bettys Tea Rooms for a cuppa and a curd tart. Fat rascals are a classic Yorkshire bake and one that I very much associate with Bettys. I’ve never actually tried one, so in order not to feel left out, I decided to have a go at making some.
Fat rascals are a type of tea cake that originated in Yorkshire in the early 1800s. They appear to have encompassed pretty much anything that contained flour and fruit. The modern one, however, is a rich fruited scone-cum-rock cake. They became famous when Bettys created a recipe for them in 1983; it remains a closely guarded secret.
I had a good trawl around for an authentic fat rascals recipe, but every one I found was different. Some included eggs and some didn’t. The same went for candied peel and the type of dried fruit used. Double cream even featured in a couple. I ended up doing my own thing, but you might find Karen’s fat rascals recipe over at Lavender and Lovage worth a look. I used a combination of spelt, plain and coconut flour, swapped the milk or double cream for crème fraîche and cheekily added some apricots to the mix.
These Yorkshire fat rascals may not be an authentic recipe, but they sure tasted good. The consensus amongst those that tried them, was that they were more of a rock cake than a scone. Either way, they were good on their own, with or without butter and especially when warm from the oven. It turns out that CT is plotting a return visit to Bettys this very week. Maybe he’ll try the authentic fat rascals and can comment on the authenticity or otherwise of my version. No matter, he scoffed mine without complaint; he’s a bit of a fat rascal himself, you see.
28 May 2017 – CT remembered and brought me back a Bettys fat rascal from York. As you can see it didn’t look much like mine, but although it was good, we both reckoned mine was better.
- 250 g flour - I used 100g wholemeal spelt , 100g plain and 50g coconut flour
- 1 rounded tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 scant tsp cinnamon
- a good grating of nutmeg
- 75 g golden caster sugar - I used cardamom sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter - cubed
- 50 g currants
- 50 g dried unsulphered apricots - chopped
- 25 g candied peel - chopped
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp water
- 8 undyed glacè cherries - halved
- 8 blanched almonds
In a large bowl, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the fruit and peel.
Make a well in the middle and break in one of the eggs. Beat the other egg in a cup and add half to the mix, keeping the other half back to use for brushing later.
Add the crème fraîche, then stir with a knife from the inside out until the mixture comes together. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if the mixture is to dry then stir again.
Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a soft dough, then divide into eight. Roll each piece into a ball between the palms of your hands and place well apart on a lined baking sheet.
Flatten each ball slightly, then brush with the remaining egg. Place two cherry halves and an almond on each rascal.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200℃ for 15 minutes or until the rascals are well risen, firm and golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool, or get stuck in immediately.
I’m sharing these Yorkshire fat rascals with #CookBlogShare which is hosted this week by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes.
Other Yorkshire recipes you might like
- Apple & cherry Wensleydale chocolate chip cake via Tin and Thyme
- Barm brack with Wensleydale via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Chocolate curd tarts via Tin and Thyme
- Gluten free Yorkshire puddings via The Free From Fairy
- Sweet Autumn dessert Yorkshires via The Gluten Free Alchemist
- Toasted teacakes via Lavender and Lovage
- Traditional Yorkshire parkin via London Unattached
- Vegetarian Yorkshire puddings with pease pudding, cauliflower & caramelised onions via Sneaky Veg
- Yorkshire curd tart via Only Crumbs Remain
- Yorkshire puddings with ice cream & golden syrup via Fab Food 4 All
Yorkshire Fat Rascals. PIN IT.