I was very close to my grandmother, named Momma (pronounced ‘Mom-mar’) by my toddler self. She was about 5 foot nothing, obsessed with her ‘bloody hair’ as she called it and loved nothing more than taking me for an underage afternoon glass of wine at the only French bistro in Leicester. She was a thoroughly bad influence and I adored her for it. She loved food but hated cooking, and saw it as unnecessary drudgery. Imagine my surprise after she died to find a well-worn recipe book in her house with this handwritten into it. Not once did she make these for me and yet they are wonderful! Here’s the recipe translated into metric.
NB: This is a recipe taken from my book Recipes from a Normal Mum. It’s out now… on Amazon, with The Book People, at Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose (where it’s book of the month) and many smaller outlets.
Cornish ginger fairings
Makes about 15
- 115g butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 170g self-raising flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger, or more if you like a strong ginger taste
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and line 2 baking trays with non-stick greaseproof paper. Melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat until dissolved. Add the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon. Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes as you will need to be able to handle it.
Using your hands, form handfuls of the warm mixture into balls about 4cm across; you should make about 15. Place them on the lined trays, making sure that there’s plenty of space for them to spread in the oven. I leave a 5cm gap between each.
Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until the dough has spread into cracked looking biscuits. If you like your biscuits with a bit of ‘chew’ (more cookie-like) then take them out when only the sides are brown. If you like them crunchy then let the whole biscuit get a suntan. Let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Photography copyright David Loftus