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Spud Sunday: Still Full And Plenty

Potato Drop Scones

Potato pancakes

As I leafed through Full And Plenty once again (parts of which were, by the by, re-issued as a slimmer volume [1] a couple of years ago), I was drawn to the recipe for drop scones, because it was something I remember my mother making from time to time.

Sweet, squat and cooked on a well-worn cast-iron frying pan, the drop scones were really just a kind of thick pancake – a treat that could be made without having to turn on the oven. The book includes a variation which adds grated potato to the basic drop scone recipe and that, of course, is the version I include below. I didn’t feel the need to mess with the recipe particularly – sometimes you just want the comfort of the plain, the simple and the straightforward. The recipe is easily halved if you don’t feel the need to make such a big batch.

You’ll need:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 425ml milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, approx. 400g
  • butter for frying

You’ll also need:

  • A heavy frying pan or griddle

The Steps:

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Beat the egg well and combine with the milk.
  • Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour and whisk together until you have a smooth, fairly thick batter, then stir in the melted butter.
  • You can use the batter straight away if need be or, better still, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or leave it overnight if you like.
  • When you’re ready to cook, place your pan over a medium-high heat. If you want to keep your pancakes warm while you cook the full batch, turn your oven onto a low heat, around 120C.
  • Peel and grate the potato. At this point I wrap the grated potato in a tea-towel and squeeze out most of the excess liquid, the only change I make to the original recipe. Stir the grated potato into your batter.
  • Add some butter to your hot pan and, once melted, drop heaped tablespoonfuls of batter onto the pan. Spread the batter a little using the back of a spoon so that you have squat, thick-ish pancakes, around 7-8cm across.
  • Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and burst (around 3-4 minutes), then turn and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes or so, until golden. Repeat until the batter is used up, either serving the pancakes as you go or keeping them hot in the oven until you’re done.
  • As with any plain potato pancakes, you can serve these equally well with sweet or savoury accompaniments – they go just as well with some butter and honey or golden syrup as with a fried egg and bacon.

The Variations:

  • Endless variations are possible here – you could add some cooked onion to the mix and whatever herbs or spices take your fancy, or leave out the potato, reduce the salt and add a little sugar for simple sweet drop scones.

The Results:

  • This makes around 30 drop scones / pancakes, enough for 4-6 people, depending entirely, of course, on what else you’re having to eat with them.