I’d never made drop scones before, but these turned out surprisingly well – warming and comforting. I’d been wanting to make them for a while now, and it seems that the change in weather has had me gravitating towards all things crumpetty and so provided the extra push I needed to have a go. I followed a basic Hugh FW recipe, but added a mashed overripe banana and a bit of spice: cinnamon and cardamom. I also used less sugar than the original recipe called for, as I wasn’t sure how much sweetness the banana would give – which as it turned out, was not too much at all – but they were great served buttered and drizzled with a little honey. I only used one banana in this first attempt (due to the fact that I share my life with a banana sceptic) so the flavour was subtle. I’ll be trying it with two next time…
250g wholemeal flour (gives a slightly nutty character)
250ml milk (you may need a splash more)
1 overripe banana
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Crushed seeds of six cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
Melt the butter in the pan you’ll be cooking the drop scones in. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Roughly chop the walnuts.
Sift the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, then stir through the sugar and any husky bits left behind in the sieve. Make a well in the middle of the mound of flour and crack the eggs in. Add a good splash of milk, and start to gently whisk together, incorporating the flour a bit at a time. Keep adding the milk until all 250ml is used up, then pour in all of the butter. Aim for a thickish mixture, similar to yoghurt (not so thick that it doesn’t drop off your spoon, but thicker than cream.) You may want to add a splash or two more milk.
Next, mash the banana in a small bowl and beat through the batter.
Then, wipe the frying pan around with a little kitchen towel to remove most of the butter – you want it to be barely greased (but make sure to use a really good pan!) Put it over a medium heat, and allow to heat up. You can either drop tablespoons of the mixture into the pan, or go with the method that I found I preferred – transfer the batter into a jug, then pour out small, even measures of it straight into the pan (I cooked mine in batches of four.)
Sprinkle a few walnut pieces over the batter immediately after it goes into the pan. As you watch the top of the scones, you’ll start to see tiny bubbles appear. When they have covered the entire surface, it’s time to turn them over – in my case, this took sixty seconds. Cook for a further 40-60 seconds, then transfer to a heated plate and cover with a tea towel whilst you cook the next batch. This recipe made me thirty drop scones, so enough to pop in the toaster the next day, with even more left over to go in the freezer…