Author Topic: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)  (Read 8896 times)

Offline RoxyS

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Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« on: May 29, 2010, 01:07:40 pm »
This is a recipe adapted from Food That Really Schmecks: Mennonite Country Cooking by Edna Staebler that I bought when I was nannying in Canada many years ago. It is a recipe I have made many times before Ted arrived and when I adapted it this afternoon I was most happy with the results - they were nice and fluffy and light. Warning though: don't go over the specified measurements as they fill the TMX bowl pretty much to capacity and I don't think you'd fit any more in.

Not a recipe for anyone trying to lose weight - this is comfort food at it's best.

Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits

Ingredients

600g flour
1 tspn bicarb soda
1 tbspn baking powder
200g sugar
1 tspn salt
250g lard
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup currants (or sultanas) optional

Method

Put all dry ingredients into the TM bowl and add half the lard (chopped). Use closed lid position and turbo a few times to begin cutting in the lard. Remove lid and add the remainder of the lard. Again, use closed lid position and turbo a few more times to incorporate the lard. Add the buttermilk and turbo about 5 times, then add currants or sultanas and turbo once or twice to mix them in. You may find the top still looks crumbly. Check with a spatula to see if the rest of the dough is sticky underneath. If it is, then use the spatula to combine in the top crumbs. If not continue to turbo till it is.  I use two dessertspoon and drop spoonfuls onto a baking paper lined baking tray.  Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake in a 200/400 deg oven for 15 mins, watching till they are golden brown on the edges. Serve them warm. I made 24 reasonable sized "cakes"

(Can be frozen and zapped in the microwave to defrost and warm slightly, but they are better served fresh from the oven).

Offline andiesenji

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 09:15:43 pm »
I have that cookbook, purchased when it was first published back in the late '60s and I think I have at least two more books with the same theme.

Haven't pulled them out for years and I appreciate your mention of the book (as well as the converted recipe) because there are some very tasty (and high caloric) recipes that I always loved.
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Offline chocdoc

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2010, 03:48:42 am »
Love my Edna Staebler books.  Think I have all of them. 

Offline achookwoman

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2010, 04:13:07 am »
Can't face up to using all that lard.  Could I use anything else?

Offline Nay-nay

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2010, 10:51:00 am »
I'm sure you could use butter - there is that much butter in the EDC choc chip cookies and they are yummy. That choc chip recipe makes 3 dozen cookies - how many would this recipe make RoxyS??

Offline andiesenji

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2010, 05:19:45 pm »
You can also use half butter and half vegetable shortening (the solid kind, not liquid) which will give a texture similar to the lard.

I use this mixture in baked goods when I am preparing them for friends with religious dietary restrictions - food must be kosher or halal. 

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Offline RoxyS

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 01:29:43 am »
Need to know that if you make the recipe and substitute other shortening for the lard, the taste will be remarkably different. For me, the lard gives it the taste.

So awesome to hear of others with Edna Staebler recipe books. Any chance that we will see more of her recipes converted?? I want to do the butter tarts - another of the recipes in the book that I love. Don't like fruit mince pies but these butter tarts are wonderful.

Offline achookwoman

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 01:32:42 am »
Roxy,  the butter tarts sound interesting.  Thought the lard might add that yummy factor.

Offline Thermomixer

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 05:01:54 am »
There would be the same amount of calories. 

The lard will make it a bit stiffer/crunchier?  Like in the hot water pastry for pork pies - essential there.
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Offline andiesenji

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 07:43:01 pm »
It also depends on the lard.  Most of the lard sold in the US is the commercial "plastic" stuff that really adds little flavor to baked goods, and I won't use it - it is just like Crisco in color, texture and taste.

I most often render my own because the Mexican markets here routinely carry the belly fat or "leaf lard" which is impossible to get at regular markets unless one has a cozy relationship with the meat department manager.

They also sell rendered lard in bulk which has the old-fashioned texture and flavor that is so desirable in recipes and which I use when I don't have time to render my own.  Even refrigerated, it will not keep forever (as does the commercial stuff) so I only buy enough to use up within a month or so.

Unless I am baking for people with religious restrictions, I use lard exclusively in my pie/pasty crust.  Nothing gives a more tender short crust.
I also use it in my great-grandmother's "lardy cake" which was a tradition in her family.   Not for the calorie-conscious!
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Offline Thermomixer

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 03:02:28 am »

Unless I am baking for people with religious restrictions, I use lard exclusively in my pie/pasty crust.  Nothing gives a more tender short crust.
I also use it in my great-grandmother's "lardy cake" which was a tradition in her family.   Not for the calorie-conscious!

True on both counts - but think that my grandparents really did loads more manual work because they guzzled lard in their dishes.  :o :o :o ;D ;D
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Offline andiesenji

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 04:24:01 am »
I've never been afraid of the "terrible cholesterol monster" because I have the evidence of extreme long-lived ancestors who ate all the "wrong" things and were healthy and vigorous until the 90s and even a few over 100!

I'm 71 and eat what my doctor considers a high cholesterol diet but my  total cholesterol at my last checkup in April was 165 and the triglycerides was at 85.  The HDL (good cholesterol) to LDL (the bad stuff) ratio is three to one. 
My doctor told me he can't get his cholesterol below 240, even with a very restricted diet. 

I believe it is simply due the the genes I inherited and has little to do with diet.
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Offline chocdoc

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 01:01:42 pm »
I've never been afraid of the "terrible cholesterol monster" because I have the evidence of extreme long-lived ancestors who ate all the "wrong" things and were healthy and vigorous until the 90s and even a few over 100!

I'm 71 and eat what my doctor considers a high cholesterol diet but my  total cholesterol at my last checkup in April was 165 and the triglycerides was at 85.  The HDL (good cholesterol) to LDL (the bad stuff) ratio is three to one. 
My doctor told me he can't get his cholesterol below 240, even with a very restricted diet. 

I believe it is simply due the the genes I inherited and has little to do with diet.

I tell patients every day - "you've got to pick your parents well"1

Offline meganjane

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 01:20:15 pm »
 :D Chocdoc!

The recipe sounds similar to Rock Cakes. I'm going to try this one.

I don't worry about using fats. I use real butter, full cream milk, coconut cream, lard, dripping etc and I'm still a size 10 to 12. I take after my dad who could eat like a horse and never gained weight. (Fortunately.... ;D)
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Offline Chelsea (Thermie Groupie)

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Re: Auntie Ellie's Tea Biscuits (with photo)
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 01:28:39 pm »
I don't worry about animal fats either MJ - bring on the butter!!!  I do worry about vegetable fats though and try to avoid them whenever I can.  :)