One of my earliest memories of my Grandmother’s kitchen is watching her make drop scones. At the time, she had a Rayburn and I would watch the thick batter slide from the large wooden spoon to smooth and settle itself across the flat scorching griddle and wait for the warm buttery smell to permeate the kitchen. I remember the steamed up windows in the winter months (best time to make drop scones!) and the steadily growing plate of warm scones wrapped in a tea towel to keep warm… I would of course place myself in the prime position beside my Grandmother, my pigtails hardly reaching her apron strings, while she poured and flipped with ease. An enormous smile plastered on my face ensured I would get one of these warm tea-time treats before my brother and cousin playing outside.
I was so focused on the receiving end during my Grandmother’s early cooking tutorials that when I decided to cook them myself years later, I realized I had absolutely no idea where to start. Luckily for me (and you), my Grandmother gave me her recipe and oversaw my first attempt. This recipe is seriously fool proof (just try not to burn them…). This recipe should make about 10 delicious drop scones. Mine were devoured within 5 minutes by my family (so make sure you hide one for yourself!). If you want more than 10 drop scones, just double the recipe.
FYI: Drop scones derive their name from the essential action of dropping spoonfuls of the mixture onto a hot, greased griddle or frying pan to cook.
What you will need:
3/4 cup self-raising flour (4 oz)
4 tbsp butter or margarine (2 oz or ¼ cup)
1 tbsp of olive oil ( or vegetable/sunflower oil)
A good pinch of salt
1/6 cup (1 ½ oz) sugar (any type of sugar will do- caster, white or brown)
1 egg (free-range preferably…they just taste better!)
3/4 cup (6 oz) of whole milk
Frying pan (griddle, if you are lucky enough to have one)
Plate & Tea Towel
Making the mixture
1. Combine ¾ cup of self-raising flour, 3 tbsp of butter (or margarine), and a pinch of salt into a medium mixing bowl.
2. Use the rubbing in method to combine all the ingredients. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour, lifting the flour up and over the butter to form what resembles fine bread crumbs. You want to cover the flour over the butter so that the butter is fully mixed into the flour and not stuck on your fingers! The action of lifting the mixture and letting it fall allows the air to get into the mixture.
3. Combine 1/6 cup of sugar, 1 egg, and ¾ cup of milk into the bowl of the flour mixture. Beat the batter with a fork for about 2 minutes until the batter is smooth, runny and no lumps remain. It is important not to over beat the mixture, so only mix the batter until it is smooth and no more. Once the batter is ready, it is time to cook your drop scones! It is best to cook the scone mixture immediately. Therefore, allow yourself enough time to make the mixture and cook it as well.
Cooking your Tea-time Treats:
1. Heat a large frying pan on the stove for about 30 seconds and add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Lift the pan up and in a circular motion to spread the oil/butter mixture evenly around the pan.
2. Take one large dessert spoonful or 1 tbsp of the scone mixture and quickly place it directly onto the frying pan. Put about four spoonfuls of the mixture directly onto the pan – evenly spacing them out well to allow them to spread without running together. Once placed on the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 1 ½ minutes. You can tell when it is time to flip them over if they look solid, have air bubbles and the outer edge of the batter looks lightly browned. Keep an eye on them since they don’t take long to cook! When you think they are ready, flip them over quickly with a spatula. The other side does not take as long, about 1 minute as you are really just browning the second side.
3. When the scones are done, pick them up with a spatula and put them on a plate lined with a tea towel and wrap them in the tea towel to keep warm. Then continue to cook the rest of the scone mixture. The mixture should be enough for about 10 drop scones.
Drop scones are best eaten immediately. You may eat them as a sweet dessert or as a warm tea-time treat. You can top the drop scones with butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and sugar, or a drop of maple or golden syrup…but for me, the ultimate is to decadently top with butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream and serve with a pot of hot tea.