Principles of Economy

A friend of mine found this strange recipe in The Sherlock Holmes cookbook: Or, Mrs. Hudson's storeside campanion formed upon principles of economy and adapted to the use of private families:

3 tbsp Butter 3/4 lb flour 6 oz sugar 1 grated lemon rind and lemon juice 2 eggs

Rub the butter into the flour; stir in the sugar and the lemon peel. When these ingredients are mixed, add the eggs and lemon juice. Beat the mixture well for a few minutes, then drop from a spoon onto a buttered baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake the biscuits from 15-20 minutes in a moderate (350F) oven, until they lightly brown.

Who measures sugar by weight?  To me 6 oz seems like it isn't much at all.  The small amount of butter and sugar makes me want to classify these as a tea biscuit--something fairly bland but somewhat sweet.  But then there are the two eggs.  Two, for this little batch of dough?  They're bound to come out like dry, dense cakes (no rising agent here).  Who knows.

They appear to be a sorrier version of these very appetizing-looking "Mrs. Hudson's Biscuits."

Bored, and intrigued by the possibility that making these "biscuits" might surprise me, I think I'll make them tomorrow.  I'm tempted to take the literal approach and actually rub the butter with my fingers into the flour (something i've never done), rather than cut it in with a fork or a pastry blender.

22 November 2010