I realised today that my hand-scrawled recipe notes for these family favourites were fading so badly that they were becoming hard to read. Time to commit to a more permanent form of storage….
There are two variations noted here – the second born out of necessity when I realised, too late, that I’d run out of tomato puree. Version 1 uses oregano and tomato puree, version 2 – red pesto (no oregano). I’d go with version 1 first but hey, give it a go and see what you think. My baking in this is not an exact science so don’t get in a sweat if you don’t have 12 or 18 bics and use your eyes, nose and touch to confirm cooking times in your own oven, especially as, in my experience, all ovens seem to have their own foibles.
(Children love these biscuits so it would be a good opportunity to get them into baking by helping out with the whole making process).
Here we go:
Ingredients (to make approximately 12 to 18, using either a 2-1/2″ or 3″ pastry cutter)
150g (6 oz) flour
100g (4 oz) well-flavoured strong cheese, finely grated (I often use Edam). Don’t be lazy – buy and grate your own for best flavour.
100g (4 oz) margarine (or butter)
1-1/2 tablespoons of tomato puree (version 1) OR Version 2: 2 well-rounded (generous!) teaspoons of red pesto (I used Sacla ready-made) and if using, you can leave out the oregano
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard (i.e. English mustard powder)
1 egg, beaten, to bind and to glaze
Salt and pepper to season
To bake on the middle / top shelves of the oven. Oven on at 200C / Fan oven 180-190C / 392F / Gas Mark 6.
Sieve flour, salt, pepper and mustard together. Add oregano (if using – version 1). Rub fat into the dry /flour mix. Add the grated cheese and the tomato puree (or pesto). Add sufficient beaten egg to form a pliable dough (you may not need any if using pesto).
Roll out pastry to about 3mm or 1/8 inch thick and using a 2-1/2 to 3 inch cutter, shape biscuits.
Arrange on a baking tray, prick well, glaze with beaten egg and bake.
2-1/2 inch biscuits will take approx. 18 – 20 minutes. 3 inch bics take about 20 – 22 mins.
These are delicious ‘as is’ but you could always treat them like tiny pizza biscuit canapes and top with a little cream cheese / ham / pineapple / tomato, or sprinkle with paprika pepper. Let your pizza brain get creative!