I’m on a mission, at the moment, to use up all those little scrunched up bags of left over ingredients in my larder – dried cranberries are todays find and that combined with an orange I needed to use up and here we have a recipe for some rather delicious orange and cranberry rock buns.
My mother and I often wonder how it is that she never learned to bake, when it was her own mother who really inspired me to the craft. These buns are a combination of both my grandmothers’ baking heritage. Nanny Flo, my lovely plump, round, “waste-not-want-not”, grandmother used to make rock buns with us as children and I remember loving that they were supposed to look craggy and non-uniform. Probably because craggy and non-uniform pretty much described everything I made at that time but these were actually supposed to look that way!
Nanny Peach was a little more formal and definitely not as round as Nanny Flo. She was though, an excellent cook and quite advanced in terms of the techniques she had mastered in her own kitchen for a woman of her generation. She used lots of alcohol in her cooking – rarely stuff bought for cooking either. I can still picture my grandfather rolling his eyes in mock horror as she used his rather expensive brandy to feed her fruit cake! The inspiration from her in this recipe is the soaking of the cranberries in fruit juice. She never used water where juice or booze could be employed. Especially in jelly – orange jelly made with fresh orange juice is still a summertime favourite of mine.
50g butter at room temperature
100g granulated sugar
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
Juice and zest of one orange
- Zest the orange into a small bowl over the cranberries and then juice it, leaving the cranberries to soak in the juice for about half an hour or so.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until pale with a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
- Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into blobs on a greased baking tray or into muffin cases although don’t worry about using a muffin tin, this should make about 8.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool on a rack and dredge with a little icing sugar.