Advent fairing biscuits

  • Makes about 12
  • Easy

These traditional Cornish advent biscuits have an endearing history, and make the perfect homemade gift at Christmas. Here's the easy recipe

Advent fairings (Photo by: Jason Ingram)

Traditionally baked for the St Ives fair in Cornwall on the Saturday before Advent Sunday, these little pig-shaped biscuits have an endearing history.

With the fishing season ended, and the fisherman all feeling flush from their catch and readying themselves for the festivities ahead, the fair was one of the highlights of the year.

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Cornish fairings were sold by the pig-pie man (no doubt with spare pastry to roll) to young men who bought biscuits for their sweethearts.

Here’s how to make advent fairing biscuits for Christmas



  • Plain flour 250g, plus more to dust surface to roll biscuits
  • Salt a pinch
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon (unwaxed is best)
  • Nutmeg ¼, freshly grated
  • Mixed spice ½ tsp
  • Currents 100g
  • Caster sugar 50g
  • Clotted cream 225g, well chilled


  • Step 1

    Sift the flour and mix in the salt, lemon rind, spices and sugar

  • Step 2

    Work in the cold clotted cream until you have a firm cohesive dough. Wrap and rest for 1 hour in the fridge.

  • Step 3

    Preheat the oven to 180° and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  • Step 4

    Lightly flour the surface and roll the biscuit dough flat to about 1 cm thick.

  • Step 5

    Use a pig shaped biscuit cutter (or use another shape) and cut to size.

  • Step 6

    Place the biscuits on the tray and bake for about 12 – 15 or until firm to touch and beginning to turn golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Stored in an airtight tin, the biscuits should keep well enough for up to a week or more.