‘These shortbread biscuits with currants take me back to my childhood when we used to call them squashed fly biscuits.’ Perfect with a cup of tea, these sweet and crumbly biscuits can be made quickly and easily in just half an hour. With oly a few ingredients, they’re also a fun way to get the kids helping out in the kitchen. For an even cheekier twist, try adding a few chocolate chunks.
- 225g (8oz) butter, softened
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 400g (14oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1tsp baking powder
- ¼tsp salt
- 110g (4oz) currants
- You'll also need:
- 6cm (2½in) fluted scone cutter
Beat the softened butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer to soften a little more, then cream with 150g (5oz) of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks lightly and stir them into the mixture along with the lemon zest. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, add the currants and mix to give a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 20–30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºC/gas mark 4.
Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 5mm (¼in) and use the scone cutter (or cut into the more traditional rectangles with a knife) to stamp out the biscuits. Arrange on a couple of large baking sheets and place in the fridge for 10 mins before baking in the oven for about 12 mins or until just turning golden.
Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg whites.
Remove the biscuits from the oven and, working quickly on 4-5 at a time, brush lightly with the egg whites. Sprinkle with a little of the remaining sugar and repeat until all are done. Return the biscuits to the oven to bake for a further 4–5 mins or until golden (this gives a crunchy top). Remove and leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Top tip for making Rachel Allen’s squashed fly biscuits
Using electric food mixer makes these biscuits quick and easy to make. For kitchen gadgets visit our shop goodtobuy