Whether your preference is for crumbly scones with jam and cream or for dropped scones – also known as Scotch or American pancakes – there’s something very satisfying and comforting about a good cup of tea and a sweet treat.

  • Four
  • Easy
Dropped scones get their popular name from the way they are made – quite literally “dropped” on to the hob or the griddle, rather than being cooked in the oven. Dropped scones are wonderful served warm with fresh raspberries and honey, a little syrup or a spoonful of home-made jam. Though they look more like pancakes, they are a little thicker and have a lovely fluffy, moist centre if they’re made in the right way and served fresh and still warm. Dropped scones have been a favourite with our children since I made them for our son Kasper’s birthday party a couple of years ago. What I didn’t know then was that they were also a royal favourite. When the young Queen Elizabeth met President Eisenhower at Balmoral in 1957, he sampled her very own dropped scone recipe, which she sent him almost a year later. I was lucky enough to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia a few weeks ago, when I was filming with the BBC’s The One Show, and it was there I found out more about the fascinating story from Professor Frank Cogliano of Edinburgh University. I even had a go at making the Queen’s recipe. If it’s good enough for the Queen then it’s worth trying at home. The Royal Yacht Britannia served the monarchy from 1954 to 1997, and now it’s moored in Edinburgh, just along the road from our restaurant, The Kitchin in Leith. They don’t serve the Queen’s dropped scones, but they do serve hundreds of their famous plain and fruit scones every day. In 2014, their Royal Deck Tea Room sold a remarkable 43,668 of them. Staff at Britannia are often asked how traditional scones are best served – butter, then jam, then cream; or butter, cream, with jam on top. I honestly think any combination works. My secret is to serve them with some home-made Scottish strawberry or raspberry jam. Perfect for sunny summer picnics or a delicious snack after a weekend walk. I’m sharing my own recipes this week, but you can give them your own twist to suit your taste. Our dropped scones are made using wholemeal flour or buckwheat to make them a little healthier and a bit more filling, but it’s such a simple recipe, you can experiment and even try out some savoury toppings.

Ingredients

  • 125g wholemeal flour or buckwheat
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • up to 100ml milk
  • 25g butter, melted
  • rapeseed oil, for greasing
  • fresh raspberries and honey, butter and jam or golden syrup, to serve

Method

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre, pour in the egg and a little of the milk, and start beating, gradually incorporating the flour.
2. Beat in the melted butter, then gradually add more milk and incorporate more flour until you have a smooth batter that drops reluctantly off the spoon.
3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Grease with a smear of rapeseed oil or butter. Drop tablespoons of the scone mixture into the pan, leaving room for them to spread (you’ll have to cook them in batches).
4. After a couple of minutes, when they are set and have bubbles on the surface, flip them over and cook for a minute or so longer until the second side is brown, then set aside in a warm place. Continue with all the batter, adding a little more oil or butter to the pan as necessary.
5. Serve warm with fresh Scottish raspberries and honey, butter and jam or golden syrup.

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.