Betty's of York Tea Room Fat Rascals - Fruit Buns/Scones

"When I worked in York, I used to nip down to Betty's of York Tea Rooms in my lunch break and treat myself to one of these delicious buns! Actually, they are a cross between a bun and a scone, and Betty's Fat Rascals differ from some other recipes, as they have whole blanched almonds and glace cherries on top! The origin of the name is unknown, but they are thought to have been made since the mid 19th Century - under the name of Fat Rascals! They originate from Yorkshire and Durham, and are very popular in most bakeries in the North East of England. These tasty fruit and peel buns are wonderful with a cuppa, to take on a picnic or, to tuck into a lunch box for the hungry workers and children! The original recipe uses lard, probably where the word "Fat" comes from - but I am not a lover of lard, so I have specified butter. A poignant historical note: A few years after Betty’s opened its doors in York war broke out, and Betty’s – in particular the basement ‘Betty’s Bar’ – became a favourite haunt of thousands of airmen stationed around York. ‘Betty’s Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display today as a fitting tribute to their bravery, as obviously, some never came back. (NB: I note that a reviewer has said these are NOT Betty's Fat Rascals!! Well of course they aren't, as I don't have the "secret" recipe - but they are a very close match! There are dozens of Fat Rascals recipes throughout Yorkshire, this recipe is as close as you will get outside Betty's Tea Room! Enjoy them as a typical Yorkshire treat, as I still do in France!)"
 
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photo by co_photo photo by co_photo
photo by co_photo
photo by 2Bleu photo by 2Bleu
Ready In:
25mins
Ingredients:
10
Yields:
8-10 Fat Rascals
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ingredients

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directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7 and grease or line a baking sheet, or a cookie sheet.
  • Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the cream and mix to a stiff paste - a firm dough.
  • Roll the mixture out on a floured board, to about 1" thickness and stamp out rounds, of about 3" in diameter. ( You can also shape the fat rascals by hand; take a piece of dough, about the size of a small egg, and make a small ball - flatten it out slghtly into bread roll shapes - like a bread bap shape.)
  • Arrange them on the greased baking tray and glaze them generously with the beaten egg.
  • Then place 2 whole blanched almonds on top with a halved glace cherry for decoration - pushing them down gently into the dough, so they do not fall off during baking!
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they have risen and are golden brown.
  • Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  • Store them in an airtight tin for up to 4 days.

Questions & Replies

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  1. flyboysma
    What is mixed citrus peel...is it just peel or is it candied? What fruit? Thanks in the US and not familiar with this.
     
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Reviews

  1. Desp.Spanish Housew
    Found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and tried it out three times - has worked like a dream. Used to live near York and had fond memories of all yummy goodies from Betty's. My family absolutely adore them, and I took over a batch for my Dad, who immediately knew what they were, and wolfed down two straight away. Betty's might have an extra secret ingredient, but agree with the author of this recipe, that these are the nearest thing you are going to get! Thanks very much. Living in Spain now, and going to try them out on some neighbours.
     
  2. lfletch888
    I live near two Betty's and I can vouch for these as the nearest things it's possible to make. I've made them many times since finding this recipe and they are delicious. B&B Lover messed with the recipe, adding too much liquid, and that's why they didn't turn out. Just do as stated and they are perfect every time. Thanks so much for sharing this!
     
  3. cakezilla
    B & B Lover - of course they had a doughy interior... you added too much liquid. They are supposed to be crumbly and need to be a stiff paste before being shaped or cut!
     
  4. Paul B.
    Bettys was on paul hollywood and the cook said he creams butter sugar add flour and then fruit. finally eggs beaten.
     
  5. waynejohn1234
    Oh my these do bring back memories of my childhood. I never knew they were called Fat Rascals but we used to have our bread (and cakes) delivered in what was called a bread van in N. Ireland. I remember mum buying little buns/scones like these. Also, there was another very popular bun called Paris Buns and I wonder if anyone has ever heard of them or has a recipe. They had coarse sugar on top and would prefer them to the Fat Rascals. Anyway, after all the above reminising I should thank you so much for submitting this recipe which I am going to make again.
     
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<p><strong><span>The sunflowers in the field behind my house in SW France:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Sunflowers src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/DSCN8221.jpg alt=Sunflowers width=640 height=480 /><br /><strong><span><br /><br />I am British (English-Scottish), but I was born in South Africa and have lived all over the world, including Hong Kong, Germany, Cyprus, USA &amp; Singapore. I have also been very fortunate to have travelled extensively over the years.........I still have wanderlust! <br /><br />I used to be an English Literature &amp; Art History teacher &amp; lecturer; before that, I trained and worked as a Graphic Designer for many years. I now live in France with my husband &amp; my daughter who has just started university in September 2006. We also have one very chatty Burmese cat Willow, who allows us to live with her here! (I used to have three cats, I recently lost Monty, a beautiful seal point Siamese and before that, Rama, who was a debonair blue point Siamese cat - I would love to have another Siamese cat or cats in the future!)</span></strong></p> <p><em><strong><span>This is my Burmese Cat, Willow, sunning herself on the log pile in the kitchen garden:</span></strong></em></p> <p><strong><img title=My src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/ABaconButtyandSundryFoodPhotos34.jpg alt=My width=640 height=480 /></strong></p> <p><strong><span>Here is my lovely Monty, a seal point Siamese, and Willow, sitting&nbsp;in the kitchen garden last year, and a few months before Monty died; he was 18yrs old:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Monty src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/AbsolutelySinfulStickyToffeePudding.jpg alt=Monty width=640 height=480 />My</p> <p><strong><span>This is my wonderful old boy, Rama, a blue-point Siamese, who died when he was 20yrs old - excuse the old and much sellotaped photo:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Rama src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/Rama1stOctober2004164.jpg alt=Rama width=517 height=639 /></p> <p><strong><span>My favourite pastimes are: reading, writing, painting &amp; drawing, photography, gardening, anything creative, walking, travelling, dining out and of course COOKING! I love all types of cuisine, but especially Traditional British - and NO it is NOT all bad!! I particularly love food associated with the changing seasons plus traditional feasts &amp; festivals, as well as Slow Cooking. I also enjoy French &amp; North African cuisine, come to think of it, there isn't much I don't like! <br /><br />My husband &amp; I run a Chambres D'Hotes, (Bed and Breakfast) called Auberge de la Fontaine here in beautiful South West France; we specialise in Gourmet Food &amp; Wine Breaks, French Antiques &amp; Restoration courses, French Language courses and French Cookery classes. Our home is completely furnished with Antique French furniture that we have rescued &amp; restored ourselves. Our charming village has one of the oldest Churches in the region &amp; it is famous for its connection with the St.Jacques de Compostella Pilgrimage route, as well as being within the Cognac &amp; Bordeaux wine growing area. <br /><br />We have a wonderful garden where we grow ALL of our own herbs and most of our fruit and vegetables. I specialise in rare, unusual and old-fashioned herbs, which I grow in our walled garden. As well as growing herbs, I also grow many different varieties of lavender, old-fashioned shrub roses and heirloom fruit and vegetables. <br /><br />We have lived overseas for many, many years now - but we both still love going home to Northern England, near Scarborough &amp; York, to visit our family &amp; friends. 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