Tonight’s Topical Treat
The book calls these Drop Or Dropped Scones. I call them delicious
Back here, I made mention of “the best” recipe for Scotch Pancakes, which I claimed at the time was by someone called Flora MacDonald. Never let it be said that I won’t correct myself when I discover that I’m talking nonsense. The lady’s name was Theodora Fitzgibbon.
The book from which I took the recipe is quite old, possibly (ahem!) out of copyright. It has a few loose pages, some that have been and maybe still are stuck together, several colonies of food stain, and a large burn on the back cover. You really don’t want to look.
This, as near as I can read it, is Theodora’s recipe, with some annotation by me. Flora, whoever she is, can make her own.
Traditionally cooked on a girdle*, but they can be successfully made in a heavy frying-pan, or the covered-in top of an electric grill**. “Scone” comes from the Gaelic sgonn, and rhymes with gone. Some recipes use baking powder, but personally I prefer the following method.
1 pound (4 cups) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons light golden syrup or corn syrup (this gives the scones a nice smooth surface)
½ teaspoon salt
½ pint (1 cup) approx milk or buttermilk
3 ounces (3 heaped tablespoons) sugar
Put the flour, sugar, salt and warmed syrup into the mixing bowl, then add the milk and beaten eggs until the mixture forms a thick dropping consistency like a thick cream***. Heat up the girdle or the pan,and very lightly grease it. Drop by tablespoons in rounds, seeing that they do not overlap and are even (if you are unused to making them, it is better to do them singly). Turn over when little bubbles appear on top and the bottom is golden brown, then cook the other side. Cool in a clean tea-towel or napkin, keeping them wrapped unless they are to be eaten hot from the pan****. Serve them warm or cold with butter, heather honey, or [sorry, unreadable, there’s a hole in the page where there used to be a food stain. Jam?]*****. They will keep for some time in a tin******, and can be heated up by putting them either in a warm oven or under a slow grill.
Makes about 24 scones*******.
*Not a corset. Don’t be silly. That’s how they spell (and say) “griddle” in Scotland. Who’s to say they’re wrong?
(although if you try cooking these on a corset I’d be fascinated to see the results)
**No idea. Presumably Theodora knows what she means by this
***You can thin this down quite a long way with more milk and still get excellent results. Experiment!
****Always try one or two this way. Just to check. Nobody’s counting.
*****or indeed serve with fruit, cream, nuts, bacon or the usual Whatever You Have Lying Around, unless WYHLA is cheese and tomato. There are limits, even for me.
******That’s if they get as far as the tin…
*******Tonight I used half of Theodora’s quantities and made 15½ scones. Close enough.