We all know and love a Fat Rascal. They’re great toasted when they are a couple of days old or eaten just warm out of the oven. Crumbly and fruity, they’re liked a pimped up fruit scone.

The recipe dates all the way back to the Elizabethan era. Cooks at the end of the day would bundle all the scraps of pastry together with fruit and bake them. In the 1983, the name was trade marked by a popular Yorkshire tearoom, so we cant and don’t call them fat rascals (for fear of being sued out of existence).

As a child, I was forever being called a Tinker by my Geordie Grandmother.  It made sense to adopt it as an alternative name.

You will need:

  • 4cm scone cutter

  • pastry brush


  • 50g raisins

  • 50g sultanas

  • 50g currants

  • 300g self raising flour

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 100g caster sugar

  • zest and juice of one fairly large orange

  • zest and juice of one lemon

  • 1/4 teaspoon of mixed spice

  • 1/4 teaspoon of mace

  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1x beaten egg

  • 1x beaten egg yolk (with a splash of water)

  • milk to combine

  • glace cherries and whole blanched almonds to decorate


Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (fan).

First, combine the juice of the lemon and orange and warm. Add your dried fruit and soak for at least 20 minutes.

Rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency. Add the zest, spices and fruit with its juice and mix to combine. If its still a little too dry, add a dash of milk. Don’t get cocky and add too much though – a bit at a time is best.

Now this is the bit where you can get a really tough Tinker. DON’T over mix it. You are really looking to handle the mixture as little as possible from this point. Over fiddling will end up with a dense flat Tinker – this applies to scones too!

As soon as it has come together turn it out onto a flour dusted work surface. You want the dough to be the same height (or a touch higher) than the scone cutter. You can re-mould the left over dough to make more Tinkers, but only do this three times.

Brush with the egg/water mixture. Leave until the egg wash has gone slightly tacky. Place your almonds and cherries on the tops in a jaunty fashion – traditionally they’re made into faces, the almonds as teeth. Brush again with egg wash.

Pop them on your baking tray and whizz them straight into your oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly on the tray before moving them to a cooling rack.

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