After looking at all these cakes, scones, biscuits, fruit cakes, meringues, pikelets and cupcakes (without mentioning the chocolates, preserves and sponge cakes) from the Perth Royal Show, I decided to join in the cooking movement and make ROCK BUNS.
This recipe comes from “The Blue Ribbon Cookbook” by Liz Harfull. A book about “recipes, stories and tips from prizewinning country show cooks”.
2 heaped cups (about 350g) self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
lemon juice (generous squeeze from half a lemon)
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
lemon essence (a few drops)
250g mixed fruit
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease an oven tray (or just line with baking paper, easier and less messy).
- Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl and, if desired, the spice. Add the lemon juice and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk and lemon essence. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or fork to form a soft dough,adding a little extra milk if it is too stiff. Add the mixed fruit and stir until well combined.
- Drop generous teaspoons of the mixture onto the oven tray, allowing room for spreading. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned. Loosen the buns and cool on the tray.
I assumed the mixed fruit was dried, so I bought a medley of dried chopped fruits. I didn’t have lemon essence, so I put lemon rind instead.
Because my oven tray is not very big, I cooked the buns in 3 lots, putting only about 9 each time. And because my oven is temperamental, I cooked them for 25 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking. Keep an eye on the rock buns as the bottom browns quicker than the top.
The tips from the judges say : “The buns should be even in size (about 5cm) and colour, with evenly distributed fruit and smooth golden bottoms. They should cut well without crumbling. They should be sweet and spicy, with the flavour of the fruit and a delicate hint of lemon”.
I also sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the second batch and I added chocolate chips to the third batch I cooked.
Easy to make, not very sweet, not too crunchy. No idea if it is supposed to be hard as a rock…Would be nice with a cup of tea…