Rachel Allen's squashed fly biscuits recipe

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Rachel Allen's squashed fly biscuits are crunchy shortbread biscuits with currants and are perfect with a cup of tea. For more biscuits visit goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes

  • Vegetarian
Makes45–50
SkillEasy
Preparation Time25 mins (plus chilling time)
Cooking Time16 mins
Total Time31 mins
Cost RangeCheap

'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.

Ingredients

  • 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

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºC/gas mark 4.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg whites.
  5. 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 (opens in new tab)

Rachel Allen left home at just 18 to pursue a career in cooking. Originally from Dublin, Ireland she moved to County Cork to study at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Soon after graduating from the prestigious culinary school, she worked at the Ballymaloe House Hotel testing recipes and then onto teaching at the school. Her first television series, called Rachel’s Favourite Food, was broadcast in 2004 throughout Ireland, Canada, Australia and elsewhere in Europe. A book of the same name accompanied the series, giving viewers a true insight into Rachel’s special brand of family-orientated cooking and recipes. Since then she has authored more than eight different cookery books (opens in new tab), based around baking and home cooking. She’s particularly famous for her baking recipes, such as the delicious walnut and American frosting cake (opens in new tab), as well as simpler recipes like basic fairy cakes (opens in new tab). Rachel’s books have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. As well as being a TV chef and author, Rachel writes regular columns for Irish magazine, The Sunday Tribune. In the past, she has also contributed to BBC Good Food magazine and AWT at Home magazine. Alongside writing, Rachel also teaches at the same school she trained. She regularly appears on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and has her own popular cooking show on Irelands RTE network. In March 2017, Rachel Allen opened her first restaurant. Dwyers of Cork on Washington Street in Cork is a joint business venture with her husand, Isaac, and publican Paul Montgomery. Appearing on the show over a number of years, in September 2019 Rachel returned as a judge and co-host with Marco Pierre White on the popular Irish television series, The Restaurant. Rachel lives in County Cork with her husband, Issac. The couple have three children together - Luka, Joshua and Scarlett. From simple one-pot meals and roast dinners to your favourite sweet treats, we’ve got all of the best Rachel Allen recipes (opens in new tab) to choose from.