Buttermere biscuits

We’ve all been absorbed in The Lake District in Recipes & Photographs by Tess Baxter, a book that tours the Lake District’s food, scenery and history. Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, the West Indian spice trade and the Roman Empire are just some of the people and areas explored.

Tess also tackles a fundamental question – what is a cake? “In the past, the word cake covered many kinds of baking, but descriptions have become much more specific over the last 50 years. Cakes are light, brownies dense, biscuits crisp, cookies crumbly, and pastries are now a separate category.” Now that’s clear, this recipe is from Tess’s book and of the crisp ilk.


220g plain flour
110g butter
90g caster sugar
45g currants
½ tsp baking powder
1 large organic egg
Grated rind of one lemon


Rub the butter into the flour, then stir in the other dry ingredients. Beat the egg and cut it into the dry ingredients with a knife. When it is evenly mixed, bring it together with your hands. If necessary, add a little water. Roll out to 7mm/1/4’’ thick and cut out 75mm/3’’ circles. Brush with milk and scatter some granulated sugar over the top. Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4 or until browned and firm. As an alternative, replace the caster sugar with soft brown sugar, omit the lemon and currants and add 45g each of chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

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