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Time Travel Kitchen
Rascals in a Tea Room
Late last year, Nigella Lawson posted a story from the tea room at Bettys of York and it looked so inviting I wanted to know more.
Bettys was founded in 1919 by a young man from Switzerland who had been orphaned at the age of six. Fritz Bützer became a confectioner and went on to great success with Bettys. One of the stories (there are several) about the naming of his tea rooms centers around a play with a character named Betty who went from rags-to-riches, a story that reminded Fritz of his own. You can read the full and fascinating history here:
I love tea and drink it all day long. And to accompany my tea I set out to make Bettys famous “Fat Rascals” and “Cheeky Rascals” which are a cross between scones and rock cakes.
Of course, it’s a secret recipe.
So I looked and found several wannabe Rascal recipes online and decided on this one and I’m glad I did. I hope you’ll try it.
They were absolutely delicious, filled with currants and glazed orange and lemon and topped with the Rascals signature glacé cherries (I had some left from Christmas) with almonds and candied fruit arranged to give each Rascal their own personality.
I consulted Yorkshireman-currently-living-in-Scotland and Bettys devotee, Mike Sowden, who writes the wonderful Everything Is Amazing newsletter, and he described what Rascals should be:
“Crumbly in a nutty sort of way on the outside; soft, but with a chewy feel on the inside.”
Success! The Rascal recipe I made hit the mark.
Mike fondly recalled first stopping in to Bettys while at university and sent along this photo which he describes as “the superbly over-the-top entranceway.”
I hope to visit Bettys one day. In the meantime, during this bitterly cold January, I’ll put on the kettle and enjoy the warmth of my own little kitchen tea room.
Many thanks to Mike Sowden. Be sure to visit his newsletter here on Substack, it’s always a great read.
Have a great weekend!