When we clocked this recipe in the Manual of Modern Cookery (1943), we had a feeling it would be a good one… and it was! The best way to describe them is as big jam-filled cookies (they’re too soft to be biscuits, too hard to be buns). They’re soft, sweet and actually last quite well – at least a week in a jar.
In 1943, with rationing, ingredients were tight. A recipe like this that would use up much of an adult’s weekly allowance of fats, sugar and flour, not to mention their one and only egg, would really need to be planned for. In most cases, this sort of treat would be reserved for celebrations. Perhaps a birthday party, wedding, or to celebrate the safe return of a loved one from the frontline. Then, a few years later, a street party.
We recorded this video and made our batch the day before we took part in our local Race For Life and brought them with us as a treat after the race. They were a big hit, especially with 5-year-old cousin Isobelle who really wanted to know how we got the jam in the middle!
Original Recipes: 'Raspberry Buns' (Book 6, 1943)
Speed: About 1 hr | Makes: 10-12
6 oz / 170 g of Plain Flour
2 oz / 57 g of Ground Rice
3 oz / 85 g of Sugar (we used caster sugar)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt
1 ½ oz / 43 g of Lard
1 ½ oz / 43 g of Margarine
A little Milk
About 2 tbsp. Raspberry Jam
Icing Sugar to dust with
1. Mix together the flour, ground rice and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Then rub in the fats until the mixture comes together like breadcrumbs.
2. Add the sugar and baking powder. Crack in the egg and, adding a little milk, mix to a stiff consistency (we only needed a couple of drops of milk).
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and form into little balls. You should get 10-12. Roll out each of them to flatten a little, and place in the centre of them about ½ a teaspoonful of jam.
4. Gather the edges up around the jam and close these up around it so that the jam cannot leak out. Gently form these into balls again with your hands. Don't press to hard or the jam could find a way out!
5. Place onto a greased baking tin and mark with a knife. Place in a hot oven (200 C / 400 F / Gas Mark 6) and bake for 20-30 minutes until they're nicely golden.
Note: We marked the tops of ours with a cross. Don't press down too hard!
6. Put onto a wire rack to cool down before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
'Variety of Shape.- Take half the mixture, roll into a square, spread with jam, wet the edges ; roll out the half, place on top of jam, mark into squares. Bake in a hot oven. Cut into squares, dust with icing sugar.'
Note: We tried this method as well. It works very nicely but does take a little longer to bake (a few minutes). Keep your eye on it and make sure you crimp the edges before it goes into the oven. Cut into squares, these make a lovely little crumbly cake that'd be great for an afternoon tea platter along with cream scones, mini tarts and finger sandwiches.
Pictures from Easter 2020, below. We cut these ones a little larger and didn't do so well with the pastry, but they were still gorgeously photogenic - and delish! ;)
Original Recipe for 'Raspberry Buns'
BOOK 6: Manual of Modern Cookery, 7th Edition (1943) Author: Jessie Lindsay & V.H. Mottram Publisher: University of London Press Ltd. (War-Time Address: St. Hugh's School, Bickley, Kent, England, U.K.)