Easter biscuits should contain currants – you know that and I know that but on occasion we have to make adjustments. Some of my family balk at the idea of any cooked dried fruit. Christmas cake is a no no, as is Christmas pudding or mince pies. My festive season could consist of a pud for one if I didn’t take the alternative route and quietly sit and demolish a Christmas cake on my own over the holidays. That, as ever, is another story.
I remember Easter biscuits as a child and couldn’t countenance this weekend without some. It would be like forgetting chocolate or eschewing the Easter bunny. So as ever, I fiddle with the recipe and come up with these. You could argue that these are simply lemon biscuits but I like to add a pinch of spice and glaze to give them their Easter vibe. Whatever you wish to call them they are an absolutely cracker with a cup of tea, to give as a present in little bags and perfect to offer to any weekend guests you may be seeing (outside obviously) and in particular for those dried fruit phobes who won’t be tucking into the Hot Cross Buns with me.
This is an easy and reliable biscuit dough that rolls out with cracking or crumbling into a hundred pieces. At other times of year you can serve these as a crisp biscuit on the side of a posset (Lemon posset, March 2014) or fool (Blackcurrant Fool, February 2019). Try swapping the lemon for orange zest which is fabulous with melted chocolate trickled randomly over them (forego the glaze in this case). This amount makes about 30 – 40 depending on the size of your cutter.
Do of course add currants when mixing the dough if my omission concerns you, 50-60g would probably be about right but add more if you like. I don’t use the mixed spice if making these with orange zest.
100g soft butter
80g caster sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling
A good pinch of salt
Zest of one large or two small lemons
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
200g plain flour
1 medium egg, separated
Preheat the oven to 200. Mix the butter, sugar and salt until combined. Add the zest, spice and egg yolk, mix again then add the flour. This should come together into a ball but add a drop of milk if you need to. Roll out on a floured surface and cut out – I use a fluted cutter but it is up to you, egg shapes or bunnies are equally welcome. Chill if you have time before cooking, it helps retain the cut shape. Whisk the egg white until frothy and then brush over the biscuits, sprinkle with the extra sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack where they will crisp up further.