Growing up, one of my favourite treats was the serving of what I knew as ‘Drop Scones’. As an adult I have seen these under the name of Scotch Pancakes or American Pancakes, as well as Drop Scones.
I was a forces child and looking back, I think my parents were influenced by the American soldiers they met on their travels because generally my memories of Drop Scones as a child, centre largely on breakfast. Drop Scones as part of a fried breakfast wasn’t an unusual occurrence in our house, or with scrambled eggs, or just plain syrup (golden not maple).
In turn the Mudlets have also developed a penchant for Drop Scones but, possibly due to the influence of television, more often than not they refer to them as pancakes.
Either way, they are a favourite treat and so with the Rayburn running quite hot, plenty of eggs to use up and maple syrup in the fridge, whipping up a batch of Drop Scones to serve warm with maple syrup, as a spontaneous dessert on Friday night proved a welcome surprise for my youngest Mudlets.
The Rayburn! My secret ingredient when it comes to Drop Scones. No need for a griddle or frying pan. Simply wipe down the hot plate, lightly oil it using a piece of kitchen towel soaked in vegetable oil and you’re good to go.
Light, fluffy and golden brown Drop Scones in minutes. I can cook two or three at a time. Needless to say the Mudlets and Mud helped make short work of their share of the dozen large Drop Scones my mixture made.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon and once more my scone baking prowess was called upon.
Regular scones this time.
Mud had cooked up a full English breakfast for lunch but as the Rayburn was running a bit cool, he decided to do the majority of the cooking, outside on the barbecue. That said, he still had eggs to fry and with the weather on the damp side, he decided to use the hob rather than the gas ring on the side of the barbecue. Unlike the gas grill on the barbecue, the side ring is not under cover and you can imagine what affect rain drops would have on hot fat.
So Mud opted to fry the eggs on the Rayburn hob. Now the thing with solid fuel stoves of any description is that there is no instant heat control. Anthracite, for example can take up to two hours to get the stove or hob to anything like the temperature you want.
Add in cold, damp and/or windy weather and the true meaning of temperamental becomes blindingly clear. The stove either runs too hot due to excessive draw or it takes forever and a day to get anywhere near cooking temperatures due to the wrong wind direction, cold air temperatures or very damp air. Ask Alex, she’ll tell you the same thing.
That said, chuck a seasoned hardwood log into the firebox and in half an hour you have a hob hot enough to fry eggs, or an oven capable of roasting potatoes. However, there is no ‘off’ switch and once you get the temperature rising there is very little you can do to stop it.
Mud needed to fry eggs and so a log went into the firebox and a short while later we were sitting down to an unhealthy but enjoyable lunch.
With lunch finished and the dishes done, I sat down with my knitting.
“Hun? Have you anything you want to cook up?” was Muds unusual question an hour or so after we had eaten, “Because the oven is at 220 degrees!”
Not wanting to waste the heat, I grabbed my scales and raided the baking cupboard and set about making a batch of Devonshire Scones. I find that scones are a quick and easy snack/pack up item to make, taking around 30-40 minutes from start to finished product, depending on the heat of the oven. Today, I had a batch of fourteen, 2 inch diametre sweet scones on my cooling rack within 30 minutes.
I knew exactly what I needed to complete these and having to go to town to pick up some milk and other essentials anyway, I added strawberry jam and double cream to my list. I whisked the cream up with some icing sugar and vanilla extract and spooned a generous amount into my finished scones, along with an equally generous spoonful of the jam. I just don’t see the point on skimping on jam or cream – if you’re going to indulge in jam and cream deliciousness, then do it in style!
A fine dusting of icing sugar over the tops of the scones and they were ready for eating.