At 8:00pm last night I just fancied some pastry. This first month on WW2 rations I’ve fancied pastry quite a few times but what with one thing and another (usually lack of time) I’ve just not go around to it!
At 8:03pm I found a recipe for “Marmite Biscuits” in Margaret Y. Brady’s “Health for All – Wartime Recipes”, a wonderful little 1940’s recipe book which focuses on maximizing good health on wartime rations. I already love this book so much!
For anyone who saw my last video HERE you will also know that I talked about the use of NUTTER in one of her recipes in the book. The recipe called for 1/2 a lb of nutter and to roll the nutter in the flour. If you are British then you’ll know that the word nutter was once a commonly used term in our general vocabulary for instance “that bloke is a right nutter” (that man is crazy, odd, eccentric!).
Quote: “Nutter” itself, first recorded from the 1950s, has always meant either a deranged person or an engaging eccentric. Such words can be used cruelly, but their plenitude also suggests some kind of delight (albeit satirical) in the varieties of human oddness.
Further examination of her recipe book revealed that NUTTER was in fact a vegetarian cooking fat, sold by Health Food Stores but for several hours before finding this term in the glossary there was much discussion and indeed mirth on what Nutter could actually be. Most common thoughts were a book typo (should have been butter), nut butter, peanut butter and peanut butter biscuits. Google wasn’t helpful to me at all, and clicking on the Urban Dictionary’s description of “nut butter” in the search engines returned results, wasn’t something I really wanted to be enlightened on!
- 1/2 lb wholewheat flour
- 4 oz cooking fat (I used a hard margarine)
- 1 dessertspoon of Marmite
- Little cold water
- Put the flour into a cold basin
- Rub in the cooking fat until it looks like fine breadcrumbs
- Add water a little at a time to the dry ingredients to make a firm dough
- When well mixed turn onto a floured board
- Roll out thin
- Now spread over thinly with Marmite
- Fold over and roll out again
- Spread more Marmite fold and roll out again, repeat
- Cut into rounds or fingers and bake in a moderate over until crisp and brown
This will make around 40 small, thin biscuits
Cost: Ingredients will cost about £1
I thought these tasted delicious, I’m a huge Marmite fan and that mixed with what essentially is a short pastry, made me think these deserved at least an 8.5 out of 10!