It’s time for brunch. And pancakes are a must have! We are sharing the recipe for Scottish drop scones today. These Scottish pancakes look a lot like American pancakes but are much smaller and thicker. And they are obviously not served with maple syrup in Scotland! They are usually served at tea time, along with jam and a clotted cream. They are also called Scotch pancakes or Scottish pancakes.
What is the origin of drop scones?
Drop scones are a kind of crepe or pancake if we refer to their cooking method. Scottish pancakes are called drop scones because the dough is placed directly on the cooking surface.
They are also called “Queen Elizabeth’s drop scones”. This recipe was given to Elizabeth II in 1959 by US President Eisenhower during his visit to Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Scones are native to Scotland and the Scotch pancake is one of its many forms. Scones, however, have nothing to do with drop scones.
The scone is a kind of bun (the Scottish recipe is a little different because it contains sugar) which is very popular in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. They are also found in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
Originally, these scones, which are served with tea, did not contain leaven and were baked in the oven or on a cast iron skillet. Today’s scones contain yeast and come in the form of triangles. British scones can be savory. Not to be confused with crumpets, which are round, soft and spongy buns made from yeast.
Their origin is very old. In the past, people did not eat eggs, oil and dairy products during Lent, as these foods were perceived as “luxury goods”.
The Pancake Day tradition was designed to use up all the forbidden foods before Lent to avoid loss and waste. Like many other European celebrations, the pancake festival was of pagan origin. Before the Christian era, the Slavs believed that the change of season was a struggle between Jarilo, the god of vegetation, fertility and spring, and evil spirits of cold and darkness.
People believed that they had to help Jarilo fight the winter and bring back the spring. The most important part of the carnival week was preparing and eating pancakes. The hot and round pancakes symbolized the sun. The Slavs believed that by eating pancakes, they would benefit from the light and heat of the sun. The first pancake was usually placed next to the window to pay tribute to the spirits of the ancestors. On the last day of the Mardi Gras week, pancakes and other foods were burned in a bonfire, as a sacrifice to the pagan gods.
Pancakes around the world
The Scottish drop scones have nothing to envy to their English neighbors, the English pancakes. These contain only three ingredients: flour, egg and milk. The dough is very liquid but the pancakes do not rise when baked. They remain indeed flat and thin. English pancakes are similar to traditional French crepes.
American pancakes are also known by other names, including hotcakes, griddlecakes or flapjacks. They are usually eaten for breakfast in stacks of two or three, accompanied by butter and maple syrup.
The brunches are plentiful in the United States and Canada. They are traditionally served accompanied by bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs without forgetting toasts.
Some recipes replace milk with buttermilk, which gives these pancakes a much more airy texture. Some variants of pancakes introduce fruit into their recipes. For example, blueberry pancakes, strawberry pancakes and finally banana pancakes. These are the most popular varieties of fruit pancakes, but there are many others.
In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, pancakes are smaller. They are called oladyi. Like drop scones, they are thick and airy. Also, some variants use fruits in the dough. It is common to find versions of oladyi with apples or raisins.
Hoping that this world tour of pancakes has whetted your appetite, we invite you to try the other breakfast recipes on the site. Enjoy!
- 1½ cup flour , sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- Zest of an orange
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- Sunflower oil
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and zest of the orange.
Dig a well in the center of this mixture then add the lightly beaten egg and half of the milk.
Whisk well until smooth and thick.
While whisking, incorporate enough of the rest of the milk to give the dough the consistency of a cream (no need to incorporate all the remaining milk if not necessary).
Pour a small amount of sunflower oil into a skillet.
Heat the pan.
Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the pan.
When bubbles appear on the surface, turn the drop scone with a spatula and bake on the other side for another 30 seconds, until lightly browned.
Renew the operation until all the batter is used.
Place the drop scones on a rack as soon as possible by covering them with a cloth to maintain their tenderness.