We like to think we know a thing or two about food in God’s own country Yorkshire and of course, top of the list is our own Yorkshire Pudding. We don’t stop there. Where else could you find the delights of Yorkshire Parkin, Yorkshire Brack, Yorkshire Drop, Yorkshire Moggy Cake and of course Yorkshire Curd Tart?
But when it comes to scones, we’ve a wealth of variations on this popular afternoon tea staple. Back in the 15th century, Yorkshire turf buns were so called as they were baked in a covered pan or griddle on a peat or turf fire. Cooks baked them as a way of using up leftover pastry and added a little of whatever they had around to make them sweet, such as sugar, honey and currants. The dough was then rolled out and cut into fairly flat cakes.
Also known as chubby scallywags, chubby rogues and scoundrels, they had an endearing but slightly roguish appearance. Described as somewhere between an oversized scone and a rock bun, the baked dome shape looked like a face. Over the years, this recipe was adapted but the main ingredients were generally lard or butter, flour, dried fruit, mixed peel with the additional flavouring of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and lemon zest.
In some areas of Yorkshire, they were called fat scamps and in the 1980s our famous Bettys ta room in North Yorkshire launched their now world-famous fat rascals as a plump fruit scone made from cherries and almonds. This became one of Bettys’ best-selling products. Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate own the registered trademark for the name ‘fat rascal’.
Grandma Abson’s Yorkshire rogues
Whatever name you put to them, there is scope for lots of ways to vary the ingredients. I suggest you use whatever dried fruit you like best sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries, apricots!
Here’s my Grandma Abson’s recipe for this Yorkshire favourite:
8 oz/225g (or 8 heaped tbsps) self-raising flour
4 oz/110g butter
2 oz/50g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Zest of 1 lemon or orange
4 oz/110g of raisins, sultanas, currants
and glace cherries combined
1 oz/25g flaked almonds
7 tbsps milk or milk/water
1 oz/25g demerara sugar
Sieve the flour and rub in the butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon or orange zest, dried fruit/glace cherries and flaked almonds. Beat the eggs and milk and add to the mixture to make a soft dough. Roll out to 1.5–2 cm/½–¾ inch thick and cut into rounds with a pastry cutter. This makes around 10 to 12. Place on baking tray and sprinkle a little demerara sugar on the top of each one. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes (425F, Mark 7, 220C).
Celebrate the by-elections in culinary style
It’s a busy week in Wakefield so will these delicious rogues satisfy those taste buds? Or perhaps your preference is for devouring a Devon split in Tiverton and Honiton? Whatever Friday brings, 24 June is National Cream Tea Day, so you have plenty of excuses to go rogue and get out the clotted cream. Once you’ve tasted these Yorkshire mischievous imps, there’s no going back to plain scones!
We need your help! The press in our country is dominated by right-wing media, many offshore and avoiding paying tax. We are a citizen journalism publication but still have significant costs. If you believe in what we do, please consider subscribing to the Bylines Gazette 🙏