Drop Scones aka Scottish Pancakes

January 24, 2016

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I’mmmmmmm back! Yup…I’ve definitely been missing in action for a while. I believe in my last post back in November I was complaining about our Indian Summer. Ha! What a difference in what we are experiencing now….historic Blizzard conditions in good old Virginia! We are pretty much buried under 2 feet + of snow!

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I probably should make some excuses about my blog neglect at this point. However, I’m sure no one wants to hear them, so I think instead I’ll just focus on the “I’m back” bit and call it a day. So…I’m back with a great recipe for tomorrow, which is Burns Night! Robert Burns once referred to his native country as the “Land o’ Cakes”, so I think these are certainly appropriate for the occasion. (Burns was likely referring to the oatcake, rather than the pancake. Nevertheless…) Here we have Drop Scones which as also known as Scottish Pancakes.

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Robert Burns was born in 1759 and is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland. On January 25th folks throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, will be celebrating with a Burns Night Supper to mark the occasion. I have done a few Burns Night recipes in the past. Last year I gave you Steak Auld Reekie over Crispy Tatties & Neeps:

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As well as Dundee Cake with Hot Whiskey Marmalade:

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The year before was Scotch Egg Pie:

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Another great Scottish dish is Cock-a-leekie Soup:

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Which I always serve up with fresh toasted Struan:

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And not to be forgotten are the traditional Scotch Eggs,

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which I have also done Deviled.

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Whew! That is quite a lot of Scottish delicacies! Now I suppose these Drop Scones aren’t so much for the Burns Supper, but instead for a Burns Breakfast, which I guess could take place either the morning of or the morning after. Goodness knows if you’ve imbibed a bit too much the night before toasting Scotland’s favorite son, a big old pancake breakfast on the morning after would be very welcome indeed. The husband and I enjoyed a big batch of them on the morning of our most recent Snowpocalypse. These Scottish Drop Scones, slathered with butter, clotted cream and The Green Apron’s award-winning Chocolate Raspberry Preserves went a long way towards making us feel all warm and cozy! Oh and the never-ending supply of Mimosas might not have hurt either!

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I would wager that there are a few of you out there saying, “Hey now. Wait just a minute. Those just look like good old pancakes. How are they Scottish? And what is up with “Drop Scones”? Aren’t scones biscuit type things?” So, let me address the pancake issue first. As it turns out, Scottish Pancakes are very similar to American style pancakes. They are maybe a bit thicker and a wee bit smaller, but otherwise the same. Scottish Pancakes are usually treated a bit more like toast or scones though in the sense that they are eaten with clotted cream and jam or butter and jam, rather than with maple syrup as is done in the States. And as for the Drop Scone thing. That is even a bit more confusing. The classic “Scone” is an individual serving cake or quick bread which is lightly sweetened and baked with baking powder as the leavening agent. Scones are often prepared by rolling the dough out into a circle and then cutting it into triangular-shaped wedges for serving. Once rolled, the dough can also be cut with a biscuit cutter into circles and baked individually. These Scottish Pancakes are called Drop Scones because rather than rolling the batter, you simply drop it onto a hot griddle and cooking it that way. Here in the States I often see folks referring to Drop Scones as scones which are not rolled out, but dropped by the spoonful onto baking trays and then baked in the oven. Hence the confusion. And don’t even get me going about the pronunciation of scone, which seems to either rhyme with “stone” or “gone”, depending on who you ask. I’m definitely in with the “stone” camp on that one! Anyhoo…the thing that I’m sure of here is that these Drop Scones or Scottish Pancakes are delicious! I’m sure The Bard would approve. After all he did say that “souple scones” were the “wale of food”, “wale” meaning best and I heartily agree. So don’t forget to raise a glass and drink a wee dram or two to Rabbie Burns tomorrow night.

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Drop Scones aka Scottish Pancakes

  • Servings: 6 - 7 Pancakes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 125 grams All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 25 grams caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 25 grams butter, melted
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • Clotted Cream, Raspberry Preserves, Butter for topping

Directions:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

In another bowl mix together the butter, eggs and buttermilk.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix until the ingredients are just combined. The batter will be on the thicker side.

Heat a flat griddle or frying pan. Brush pan with a little oil or melted butter.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the hot griddle. In an attempt to make my pancakes the same size, I used an ice cream scoop, which holds about 3 tablespoons of batter. Leave the pancakes undisturbed until bubbles appear on the top. Flip the pancake over and cook for 1 -2 more minutes until golden brown.

Remove from pan and keep warm. Add additional butter/oil to the griddle and keep on making those cakes.

Serve warm with clotted cream and jam, or butter and maple syrup as you see fit.

Enjoy!

Drop Scones brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade

January 20, 2015

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O.k. It seems like corks were just popping on New Year’s Eve and BAM...next thing I know we’ve nearly reached the end of January! Indeed the 25th will be happening this Sunday. So what is the significance of January 25th you might ask. Well, throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, folks will be celebrating with a Burns Night Supper to mark the occasion. Robert Burns, who is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland, was born on that day in 1759. I’m quite a Burns fan myself and will certainly be raising my glass to The Bard this weekend. I have given you some great Scottish recipes in the past in case you might be planning a Burn’s Night Supper of you own. Last year it was Scotch Egg Pie, which is a type of meat pie that has spicy sausage surrounding an inner circle of hard-boiled eggs all wrapped up in a buttery flaky pie crust.

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The year before I shared Cock-a-leekie soup

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 which I served with delicious, crusty Struan. Struan, also known as Celtic Harvest Bread, is thought to have taken its name from a town in Western Scotland called Struanmoor, on the Isle of Skye. It was originally enjoyed once a year as a harvest bread, using whatever grains were available from the previous day’s harvest. This is my absolute favourite bread, so it is almost always available in my house. It toasts up particularly brilliantly.

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The year before that it was Deviled Scotch Eggs.

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And I had also previously given you the traditional Scotch Egg recipe. If you don’t know what Scotch Eggs are, believe me it is time that you find out! Basically it is  a hard-boiled egg encased in sausage and then deep-fried. Good Lord Have Mercy!

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So I have already set the bar pretty high for myself when it comes to Scottish delicacies for your Burn’s Night Supper. Nevertheless, I think I’ve risen to the challenge yet again. This year I’m going to turn my attention from the savory to the sweet. I’ve got a great Scottish dessert I’d like to share with you, Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce. Now I bet that’s got you drooling huh?

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Dundee Cake is a famous traditional Scottish fruit cake which hales from…bet you guessed it already huh? Yup…Dundee. You see, there is a famous marmalade company, Keiller’s, which is located in Dundee and they are credited with developing this recipe in the 19th Century. Actually, there is a chance that although they popularized this cake at that time, the recipe is much older, dating back to the 16th century perhaps. The legend goes that Mary Queen of Scots did not like glace cherries in her cakes. I can’t say I blame her. I think those things are quite suspicious to say the least. So the classic fruit cake recipe was somewhat altered for her and a cake was made without the usual cherries, but with blanched almonds instead.

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Dundee Cake is often served at Christmas time throughout the British Isles, but definitely in Scotland. Indeed, recently the town of Dundee has put in a bid to have Dundee Cake awarded a Protected Geographical Indicator Status from the European Commission. That will prevent anyone who is not from Dundee from selling a cake labeled as Dundee Cake. You know, it is like Champagne. Champagne is only bottled in Champagne France. If it is produced in any other locale, it is not Champagne and needs to be called Sparkling wine. If the Dundee Cake is awarded PGI status, consumers will have 100% guarantee of its authenticity and confidence that they will enjoy all of the unique characteristics that have long been associated with this type of cake traditionally made in Dundee.

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So what is this cake like? Well, it is delicious of course! And don’t even start raising your eyebrows and giving me that “are you kidding me… it is a fruit cake” kind of face. Unlike many fruitcakes you might have encountered in the past that were most likely used as a door stop rather than eaten, this cake is light and buttery with a touch spice and warm citrus notes. Not to mention that it is chock full of juicy, whisky soaked fruit and festooned with circles of almonds.

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Notice I spelled whisky properly here. When referring to Scotch, there is no “e” in whisky. And speaking of whisky, don’t forget that each slice of this moist, rich cake should be served with a generous pour of Hot Whiskey Marmalade Sauce and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Yum! It will change everything you thought you knew about fruitcakes! I hope I have inspired you to host a Burns Night Supper of your own or at least to raise a wee dram and drink a toast to Scotland’s Favourite Son this Sunday.

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Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce

  • Servings: one 8 inch cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Epicurious

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch whisky (plus more for soaking fruit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup dark raisins
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel (I used mixed candied peel from King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Whole blanched almonds (Can’t find pre-blanched almonds in the store? No problem. See instructions below**.)

For the Hot Whisky Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons whisky
  • 4 oranges

Freshly whipped cream for serving.

Directions:

For the cake:

The night prior to baking, place the raisins and currants in a bowl. Pour enough whisky over fruit to cover it. Allow fruit to soak overnight. This is an optional step, but I believe that it not only allows the fruit to plump up a bit, but it gives it a wonderful boozy flavour!

Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment paper. You could also use a springform pan or if your 8″ cake round does not have 2″ high sides, line the sides with parchment paper to gain the 2″ height. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and spice into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, whisky, and grated orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in dry ingredients, then all dried fruits and candied peel. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake 1 hour. Remove cake from oven. Brush top with 2 tablespoons marmalade. Arrange almonds around edge, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes longer. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.) Turn cake out of pan; peel off parchment. Place upright on plate.

For the Whisky Sauce:

Combine marmalade and whisky in medium saucepan. Cut all peel and white pith from oranges. Working over bowl to catch juices, cut between membranes, releasing orange segments. Add 2 tablespoons orange juice from bowl to saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until marmalade melts and sauce is heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to serving bowl.

Serve cake with warm sauce, orange segments, and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

*Don’t have pumpkin pie spice?: Pumpkin pie spice is a combination of mostly cinnamon, with some ginger, allspice and nutmeg added into the mix. This recipe only calls for 1/8 tsp. of the spice. You could just add a dash of the above spices and call it a day.

**How to blanch almonds: Take raw unsalted almonds and drop them in boiling water. Allow them to boil for 60 seconds, but no longer. Remove almonds to a colander and rinse them with cold water. Blot them dry with a paper towel. The skins can easily be removed at this point by simply squeezing the almond between your fingers. Let the almonds dry entirely. Voila! You now have blanched almonds ready to use in this recipe.


Deviled Scotch Eggs

January 23, 2012

O thou! whatever title suit thee,–

Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie!
Wha in yon cavern, grim an’ sootie,
Clos’d under hatches, 
Spairges about the brunstane cootie
To scaud poor wretches!

*Spairges:to bespatter by flinging/Brunstane cootie:BrimstoneBowl

Robert Burns “Address to the Devil”

That’s Right! Robbie Burns Night is coming up soon. Traditionally, Burns Night celebrations are held near the poet’s birthday, January 25th. It was through a post about a Robbie Burns Night last year that I first learned about Scotch Eggs. Having never encountered one before, I nearly couldn’t go on until I made them. I think I instantly fell in love. Are you kidding me, a hard-boiled egg, enrobed in sausage, rolled in Panko and deep-fried?!! Be still my heart!

So this year I decided to step it up a bit and make Deviled Scotch Eggs. (Hence I thought an excerpt from the Burns poem “Address to the Devil” appropriate – if you haven’t read this poem before, it’s pretty amusing, if you can manage to get past his Scots dialect. I provided some translations.) Basically, I made the Deep Fried Scotch Eggs that I did last year, but then I cut them in half, took out the yolks, deviled them and stuck them back in and sprinkled them with paprika. I wanted to sprinkle them with bacon bits, but I didn’t have any on hand. Oh dear Lord! What has gotten into me? These Deviled Scotch Eggs are awesome.! I will say, if you’re feeling a bit more healthy, Edible Ireland has some awesome Oven Baked Scotch Eggs, you might want to check out. If you’re interested in the history and origins of the Eggs, check out my Scotch Eggs blog from last February. This year I served them along with a salad, fresh fruit, and of course, chips.

I mean I already had the deep-fryer fired up. How could I not throw a few potatoes in? I think I might just feel my arteries clogging as I type. But really folks, sometimes you just need to let go and enjoy some awesomely bad for you comfort food and my Deviled Scotch Eggs are just what you need! (if not what the doctor ordered:) )

Deviled Scotch Eggs

yield: 12 Deviled Scotch Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. bulk sausage-we prefer “hot” but  country-style or herbed would work just fine.
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs-shells removed
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 raw eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 Cup Panko
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying

For the Deviling Process:

  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Coleman’s English Mustard
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • paprika and crumbled bacon to garnish

Directions:

For the Scotch Eggs:

Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 365° F.

Cover counter top with large sheet of waxed paper.

Divide the sausage into six equal portions.

Flatten the sausage into thin circles.

Place an egg in the center of each round. Enclose each egg completely in the sausage.

Dredge the sausage-coated eggs in flour, dip them in the raw egg and then roll them in the Panko until they are entirely coated.

Fry Scotch Eggs two at a time for 10 minutes.

Transfer to paper towels and allow to cool to touch.

To Devil them:

Halve the Scotch Eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks.

Mash the yolks with a fork and then place them in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and mix until smooth.

Using a pastry bag or sandwich bag with an end snipped off, pipe the yolk mixture back into the Scotch Eggs.

Garnish with paprika and bacon crumbles.

Enjoy!


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