Traditional Scottish Pancakes or Drop Scones Recipe

Traditional-Scottish-Pancakes-or-Drop-Scones

Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 26 February 2023

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This family pancake recipe will make about thirty-six pancakes that have a thickness of about 3/8th to half an inch and a diameter of about 4 inches. In my family, I would often prepare a batch of pancakes at the weekend. We would enjoy a serving of warm pancakes and pack the remainder, once cool, into a plastic airtight food container. They could then be left out for use over the next day or two, or frozen for later in the week.

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs / 700g Self Raising/Self-Rising Flour
  • 12oz / 350g granulated/regular sugar.
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder.
  • 1 – 3 Teaspoons vanilla essence.
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1 Pint /600 ml milk

Note: the imperial to metric conversion is approximate and has been rounded to the nearest easily measured value. The slight difference will not make any noticeable difference to the final pancakes.

In any case. Originally, I never measured the ingredient quantities in my recipes, always judging the quantities by eye, since I learned the recipe from my mother or other cooks. It wasn’t until my children left home and asked for my recipe. So dear reader, you have my children to thank, since they forced me to weigh out the ingredients and record the quantities for this family favourite.

Method

Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, then add half the milk and start to mix with an electric mixer. Gradually add the extra milk and continue mixing until you have a smooth but thickish batter. Do not add extra milk since this will make the batter too thin. This would cause the batter to spread out too much, resulting in thin pancakes.

Next, place your griddle on your stove or hob set to a low heat. Once the griddle is warm, pour about half a tablespoon of vegetable oil onto the griddle surface and use a folded-up paper kitchen towel to soak up the oil and spread it across the whole of the griddle’s surface. The intention is to lightly grease the griddle and collect the excess on the kitchen towel. Do not leave a “puddle” of oil on to the griddle, pancakes are NOT fried! Do not discard the oily kitchen towel, use it between batches of pancakes to regrease the griddle.

When the griddle has warmed use a ladle to pour the pancake batter. A ladle full of the batter should be enough to form three 4-inch/100mm diameter pancakes. Immediately after pouring the batter for each pancake, you can use the bottom of the ladle to smooth out the batter into a perfect circle shape.

Let the pancakes cook until bubbles form holes and the top surface changes from liquid-looking to forming a “skin”. At this point use a spatula to gently prise up one edge of the pancake to check that the base of the pancake has a tan or golden-brown colour. If this is the case, flip the pancake. If the base of the pancake looks a little burned or too dark, flip the pancake, and turn down the heat. The second side will take less time to cook, so check its colour after about 30-45sec. If it is a golden-brown colour your pancakes are ready.

Make a stack of the three pancakes on the griddle, then scoop them up with a spatula or fish slice. Lay them individually between two tea towels on a worktop. This will keep the pancakes warm and moist while you cook the rest of the pancakes.

If when flipping a pancake, it falls over the edge of a neighbouring pancake, DO NOT try to separate them immediately. Let them cook for about 20sec until the batter forms a crust on the base. At that point, you can split the pancakes apart without making a mess. Also, if a flipped pancake lands on the lip edge of the griddle, do not try to move it. Let it cook for a little until firm, you can then move it.

Serving your Scottish Pancakes

Scottish Pancakes are best served warm, either shortly after being made or by being warmed in a microwave oven for a few seconds (timings will vary depending on your oven’s power). I also like to heat them in a toaster, which also has the effect of making them a little crisp.

Scottish pancakes can be served for breakfast, afternoon tea, or as a dessert.

Spread the pancakes with a little butter or the spread of your choice. Then add either some strawberry or raspberry jam. If you prefer, you can use blossom or Scottish heather honey. The latter honey has a strong flavour and is not to everyone’s taste. Personally, I adore Scottish heather honey, but less so its premium price.

Get the Ingredients

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Tosh learned how to cook while watching his Polish Mom at home. He also worked in a family-owned restaurant while a student and learned much from the chefs. Cooking has always interested him, especially the hearty Polish recipes he learned from his mother. He has helped create and appeared on cookery shows on radio stations in Scotland.

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