This is a very special recipe in my Royal Recipes series, not only because it was enjoyed by the Royalty, but because it was prepared by Royalty too. On 8th August 1959 (thus me sharing the recipe today), President Eisenhower and his wife arrived at Balmoral for a visit during the Queen’s summer holiday. On this occasion, the Queen prepared these drop scones, also known as scotch pancakes, for her guests. We know all this because there were letters exchanged between the Queen and the US President. As you can see the first letter regarding the drop scones.
“Dear Mr President,
Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.
I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful. Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated. I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too. I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking.
We have followed with intense interest and much admiration your tremendous journey to so many countries, but feel we shall never again be able to claim that we are being made to do too much on our future tours!
We remember with such pleasure your visit to Balmoral, and I hope the photograph will be a reminder of the very happy day you spent with us.
With all good wishes to you and Mrs Eisenhower.
Attached to this letter was the recipe for drop scones, enough to make for 16 people. I made less, using the tips the Queen mentioned, like using less flour, but both eggs. There is also a reply from President Eisenhower, from 24th January 1960. In his reply he asks about the caster sugar, because it has a different name in US.
I’ve shared the ingredients as they are mentioned in the recipe, adjusted to make half of the drop scones. A teacup holds 100g of flour and a bit less than 100ml milk. It’s a bit smaller than the cups that are used in old recipes. I do prefer measuring on a scale for precision.
Ingredients for drop scones, for 8 people (8 pancakes):
– 2 spoons of caster sugar
– 2 teacups flour (200g)
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 2 tsp cream of tartar
– 2 free range eggs
– 1 teacup of milk (100ml)
– 2 spoons of melted butter + extra for cooking
Beat eggs, sugar and about half the milk together, add flour, and mix well together adding the remainder of milk as required, also bicarbonate and cream of tartar. Whisk everything together. The consistency of the batter is thicker than the one for pancakes, but pretty similar. Fold in the melted butter. Don’t keep the batter for too long in the bowl. It will start to rise.
Put a bit of butter in the pan to melt over low to medium heat. Pour the scones, leave them for a minute or so. Turn them over and cook them on the other side for a bit under a minute. Serve the drop scones or pancakes, how we call them these days, with jam. I’ve served them with Cava jam because I though these deserve a special kind of jam.
I love them, the texture is great, they are so fluffy. I will make these drop scones or pancakes again.