Monday, May 29, 2006

Scotch Pancakes


Scotch pancakes are one of many Scottish cakes cooked on a flat bakestone or girdle (griddle to the English). The Scottish poet Robert Burns described his native land as a 'Land o' Cakes'. He may have meant the oatcake in particular, but 'cake' also meant more generally any form of bread (leavened or unleavened), or cereal-based baked foodstuff. A pancake was a 'cake' cooked on a heated flat-surface; historically a bakestone, hearthstone or girdle, and eventually a pan. Scotch pancakes are also known as 'drop' or 'dropped scones', because soft dollops of mixture are dropped onto the cooking surface. According to Laura Mason, the Scottish are the originators of the scone (a subset of the cake genus), and the 'Scotch pancake' is one of its many forms. I look forward to exploring other members of the Scottish scone family shortly...

The method of cooking on a heated surface is a very ancient one. If you only have a wood or peat fuelled fire for your cooking, it is a simple matter to bury a stone in the embers, or to prop a metal pan over the flames in order to heat the cooking surface. The Welsh have similar girdle-cooked foods of long heritage - such as crempogs (ffroes) and Welsh cakes (The Oxford Companion to Food mentions a theory that the Scottish miners who travelled south to work in the Welsh coal districts of Glamorganshire, were responsible for bringing the girdle pancake recipe with them.). Northern England shared the oatcake with the Scottish Highlands, as both areas were well suited to the cultivation of oats, although different regions prepared the oatcakes in slightly different way.

The 'girdle' used by the Scots for their cooking, is a round, cast-iron flat plate, with a semi-circular handle. The town of Culross in Fife, was granted a royal charter for their manufacture back in 1599 - this gave Culross a monopoly on the production of girdles for many years. The National Trust for Scotland has been working to preserve the town of Culross since the 1930s, so by the 20th century the success of Culross girdles had diminished somewhat. I have not been to the town, but it looks a handsome place.

Scotch Pancakes (recipe from this book)

120g self-raising flour
small pinch salt
30g caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 pint milk

1. First grease your girdle (I love that instruction) - use a oil as butter will burn, and then put on the hob to heat.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the pinch of salt, and then tip in the sugar.
3. Crack the egg into the milk (best not to try doing this into the bottle), and whisk.
4. Pour the egg and milk liquid into the dry ingredients, and mix to form a smooth batter.
5. Test that the girdle is hot enough by putting a teaspoonsworth of batter onto it. You should have a fairy-size pancake cooked for you in less than a minute.
6. For the main-event pancakes, use a tablespoon to drop the batter onto the girdle. I used the back of the spoon to form the dollops into more aesthetic rounds.
7. Keep a beady eye on the batter. When the surface has become covered in bubbles get ready to flip them over using a palette knife (please ignore the scratchy metal one I am using).


Don't worry if the underside isn't as coloured as you would like it to be, you can always turn the pancake over for an extra girdling.


8. When cooked remove the pancakes from the girdle, and wrap in clean tea towel to keep moist.

The jury is out on whether to eat these hot from the girdle, or leave them to cool. Either way I think that they should be eaten on the day of cooking. This recipe makes about 18 pancakes, so a good quantity for Sunday night tea for two. Consume with butter, or butter and jam.

91 comments:

Ange said...

Mmm, love any form of pancake - as we call them here - these look delicious

세라 said...

I also love pancakes of any kind and this recipe looks pretty easy. I have to try making this sometime. Can you add fruit like blueberries to this recipe?

I, like the view said...

which kind of oil do you grease your girdle with?

!!

no seriously, I use butter for regular pancakes (which I cook in a frying pan) as I worry that olive oil would be too flavoursome

(in not the right kind of flavoured way) (do I mean taste or flavour? you probably know what I mean even if I don't)

and as I only use butter or olive oil in the kitchen (apart from lard for my pastry), I'd need to take some advice on this one

anna said...

I confess that my girdle is so super non-stick, that I didn't actually need to grease it!

However, I would normally use a smudge of sunflower oil, or something like a grapeseed or maize oil. I think olive oil is fine, just not your delicious extra-virgin cold-pressed oil - too much flavour and too expensive!

Sunflower oil can be useful for cake making so is worth having in the cupboard. Some muffin recipes need an oil for their fat content. My mum has a great chocolate cake recipe that uses sunflower (or any other vegetable oil), it makes for a very moist cake.

Hope this is a help.

I, like the view said...

thanks anna

(do you know, I have only just noticed that little ♥ on your fairy cake. . .)

(can you recommend any specialsit suppliers of stylish sugar decorations for cakes BTW? I am making 100 fairy cakes for a friend's b'day party and have purchased some black edible holographic glitter from my local cake shop which I will transform into music notes via use of a stencil on white icing, but boy would it be easier if I could actually find some mini black sugar notes!)

(and they used to have tiny red hearts, like your white one, but have run out, and also mini sugar letters. . . my supplies need a boost and my local shop is barren)

(am willing to cough up fee should you know the answer and be willing to impart info. . .!)

rachel said...

Looks yummy. This might sound like a silly question, but in the absences of a girdle (yes, that word makes me giggle too!) I'm assuming I can use a large heavy-based frying pan. Cheers!

anna said...

I'm afraid I don't know of a source for sugar music notes - somebody enterprising perhaps needs to get on the case. The white heart was from a set of sprinkles picked up from Waitrose at some point (probably pre-Valentine's day). Waitrose seem to offer seasonal cake decorations so you have to keep going to have a look - just in case you miss out!

I have marked a few online sources, but I have yet to order from any of them. Might be worth a look, or even contacting them to see if they know of other sources for more specialist decorations.

www.craftcompany.co.uk
www.cakecraftshop.co.uk
www.squires-shop.com

Plus - this site, that features a cake stand that surely EVERYONE should have (and keep filled):

Hi Rachel,

A heavy-based frying pan would be fine for these pancakes. You won't be able to cook as many at once, but cooking in batches means that the first batch will be cool enough to eat by the time the last batch is done. Perfect!

valentina said...

I love your blog.This post in special is really lovely. Your pancakes are perfect.What is your secret?; o )

anna said...

Well, thank-you very much Valentina. Not all my cooking works out, but I have made these pancakes many times, so I guess the practice paid off!

I, like the view said...

thanks Anna

that stand is superb and I might have to buy one

or two

or three, possibly. . .

. . .if my pocket money will stretch that far

(I ended up finding enough varied and different things that fitted with the colour scheme - black red and white - such that I didn't get around to the music note idea)(but I will be doing some more research along these lines shortly)

Mr Atrocity said...

These are a bit of a family favourite, though around our neck of the woods they were known as "drop scones".

carok said...

I'm just about to cook these (having searched online 'cause I don't have my usual recipe with me) - but in answer to the question on greasing the pan... My mum swears by copha. I think it's quite an Australian thing - it's vegetable shortening made of solidified coconut oil. It has no discernable flavour and a high melting point so it doesn't burn. Perfect for pancakes and the like...

Paula Brennan said...

Hi is the mixture the same as for regular pancakes and if using a standard frying pan how do you stop the pancakes from spreading out and making a thin normal pancake
Thanks
Paula

anna said...

Hi Paula,

The consistency of this mixture is thick enough to not go scampering off across the pan. Add the mixture to the pan using a suitably sized spoon, then use the back of the spoon to swirl the mix into a circular shape.

Happy cooking.

Anonymous said...

A girdle? or did you mean a griddle?

anna said...

Girdle is the Scottish name for griddle - they are one and the same.

niptuckfan said...

just made pankcakes for first time and turned out great just like mum used to make, thanks

anna said...

Glad they turned out so well ; )

Anonymous said...

I made them following your recipe and they wre absolutely delicious.
thank you for a great recipe

Anonymous said...

I made them following your recipe and they wre absolutely delicious.
thank you for a great recipe

wulfhound said...

Thanks for the recipe - these are lovely!

Anonymous said...

Myself and my five year old made pancakes this weekend - I've eventually found a recipe just like my granny used to make on her old Aga up in Lewis! And my 5 year old had great fun! Many thanks

Valerie said...

thanks for the recipe from one pommie to another, I live in Sydney Australia and my husband is an ozzie but is of scottish decent, with a family name sinclair you can see why we love scotch pancakes. I lost my recipe book in a move so was so happy to find yours , the tip on using oil instead of butter to save burning is so correct, as I have found out many times. Ta Val

Gillian said...

I haven't been able to replicate the pancakes my Granny used to make until I found this recipe. We all love them, especially with butter and homemade raspberry jam!

Anonymous said...

mmmmm

Anonymous said...

My Mum (a scottish cookery teacher no less) always uses butter to grease her girdle. If you save the wrapping from a block of butter and then use that to spread a tiny amount of butter around it'll work perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Is it essential to serve them on a black and white tray from IKEA? I have one, so I'm going to give the recipe a try...

Anonymous said...

I dont have a set of scales - anyone have a conversion for how many cups of flour etc to use??

Valerie said...

1 Cup equels 120g flour if this is of any help to you

Anonymous said...

I just made these - fantastic! I don't have scales either so I used 10.5 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

Anonymous said...

Grease the gridle, not girdle. thanks for the recipe.

angel_09 said...

WoW Wot can i say anna,these are really delicious .i just made them with my kids we had so much fun .

thanks alot :)

i<3pancakes said...

mine keeps sticking to the pan and i greased it.
i accidentally added a bit of oil to the batter
do you think that's why??
thatnks for the help

anna said...

I don't think that adding oil to the mix would make the pancakes stick. If you greased the pan, then you have done everything right. Maybe the pan was too hot and had burnt off? I have a pesky frying pan, that no matter what I use to fry with (oil, butter etc.) food ALWAYS sticks. Maybe you too have a pesky piece of kitchen equipment?

Anonymous said...

If you use a bit of oil and butter you get the flavour of butter but the oil raises the melting point so it doesn't burn - just put the oil down first and you should be fine

Shalini said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The best I've ever made, definately worth a try!

Shalini said...

Btw do you by any chance have the chocolate cake recipe on here because I haven't been able to find one that doesn't taste awful and yours sounds delicious?

Thanks Anna

Anonymous said...

u need to do a scots breakfast with these ... crisp off some bacon then do the pancakes and sliced mushrooms in the burn off with black pudding lorne sausage and cluttie pudding. Then call the doctor cos u r gonna have a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

I found your recipe mentioned on Attic 24 and well reading through old posts and I must say it made my mouth water. I just had to make them and what great timing! It was morning and no one had had breakfast. Well they were very much enjoyed and resulted in me getting lots of lovely and greatful compliments from my family! So thank you for a lovely idea and recipe! :-)

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rob brownlie said...

My wife made me some on the griddle, wearing a girdle. Needless to say we ate the pancakes cold!!

Nic said...

Great stuff! Good old classic scotch pancakes! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hello, could you tell me the ratio of baking powder I wold need to create self-raising flour, as I live in Sweden and it isn't available here. Thanks!

Anna said...

You will need approximately 1 and a half to two teaspoons of baking powder to 250g of plain flour. The amount will vary according to how many eggs (or other raising agents) you are using in the recipe. For pancakes I think you can err on the lower side as they need to be light rather than spongey!

Hope this helps.

Stan said...

My mum used a lump of something 'natural' for greasing the girdle - I suspect it was suet, straight from the animal, it was very firm. I never thought of asking what it was. In those days, it was assumed as a boy,I'd never cook.
There is a joy in making pancakes, any type, Scotch, American or even English - probably because it is so easy.

Anonymous said...

i juat made these for pancake day and they were amazing...normally my pancakes end up in sloppy messes but these were so easy and definately the yummyiest (:

CV.AGUS BUANA PUTRA said...

This is awesome.. Thanks October Fall sharing

David Yates said...

Just did these, and I know it's been said before but they were GORGEOUS even though I've never done them before!

Yesterday I did the usual English pancakes and they are just so messy and take forever to whip up enough for a family of four. These went down an absolute treat, even before I managed to get the jam and butter out :D

Thank you :)

RussiaRivers said...

these come out so light and fluffy and the sweetness is subtle and just right. i will never buy scotch pancakes from the shops again! thanks a lot anna :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have made them this morning and the batch just disappeared! Will be making them again soon.

Would you be able to share your mum's chocolate recipe made with oil please. I have been searching for a recipe like this for a long time.

Mel

Big Bead Little Bead said...

Hi Mel,

I am seeing my mum in the next few days, so I shall get her to impart her chocolate cake recipe to me. Keep your eyes on this blog and hopefully I will be able to bake and post about the cake in the next week or (half-term japes allowing).

Best wishes,

Anna

Anonymous said...

how many does this recipe make?
They sound delicious!

Thanks

brittany said...

this is awesome.. im actually trying to make this for my english class tomorrow...
we have to write about it and everything... !

Tony Reid said...

Just in time for breakfast this morning - and they were delicious!

I can't believe my 8 year old ate six of them! its hard enough getting her to eat anything normally!

Thank you :)

lianne said...

I made these using your recipe,adding sultanas and my 6yr old daughter loved them-she thinks i'm brilliant now!thanks!

Anonymous said...

i love these too, but wonder if the addition of sugar is necessary/traditional? I am pretty sure my granny didn't put in sugar...

Anonymous said...

So mouthwatering!!I like listening to the music of avril.

Anonymous said...

You could add melted butter and covering them with jelly milk(dulce de leche, en español) It's absolutely delicious!

dougie said...

Thank you. That recipe (double quantities, three small eggs) worked brilliantly.We'll probably do another batch tomorrow.

Ursula said...

i used to make pancakes with my grandad on his girdle : this brings back memories, great recipe! hey just wondering, how many should this make because i may need to double it as i only have a goose egg at home so thats equivalent to two or three hens eggs...?

Anonymous said...

Good recipe. Very tasty pancakes. Just made a batch & already guzzled by my 5 year old and me. Highly recommend this recipe.

Anonymous said...

i have tried for years to make pancakes like my granny used to make on her gridle will no sucess. until today just finished making theses and they are soooo good ate 3 already.thanks for recipe.

Anonymous said...

I've made these minus the sugar instead of Blinis. Topped with soured cream, caviaar and chopped chives..... mmmm delicious

Graham said...

I've used these - minus the sugar as an alternative for Blinis. Topped with soured cream, caviaar and chopped chives. Mmmmm delicious

Sam said...

Just made them for the kids, syrup jam or butter......yummy

JessMonkey said...

Just made these for me and the hubby for breakfast!! Had them with toffee sauce. So easy to make too!

Sarah said...

My dog liked these. My boyfriend left his plate unattended for a moment and the naughty terrier scoffed half of his breakfast. He's never stolen our food before. I wouldn't have mided too much but I got the blame!

Anonymous said...

I remember making Scotch pancakes in the late 90s. I got a recipe from an old book and remember putting 2 tablespoons of melted butter into the mixture. I must make some very soon as these look delicious. I would love to put some thinly sliced salted butter on them and a pinch of sugar.

- Cab

Anonymous said...

Made these this morning. Easy to do and yummy. Have you got any other ideas for these for different flavours. I was thinking of maybe adding raisins or blueberries. Jen x

Matthew O'Leary said...

These are sexy pankcakes

GraemeGO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scotch Pancake Recipe said...

I confess that my girdle is so super non-stick, that I didn't actually need to grease it!

Clare Law said...

Thanks for the recipe! Our pancake pan is non-stick, so no greasing. Super easy for breakfast -- my toddler was delighted and is now running around on a jammy high!

Anonymous said...

Made them for the family and neighbours this morning, lovely!

Anonymous said...

Such an easy recipe, can't believe I haven't made them before, kids loved them with syrup, bliss :)

Giles said...

I make american pancakes a lot, but i never weigh the ingredients. I use 4 heaped dessert spoons of flour per egg and then milk to leave it thick enough not to spread out.

are 4 heaped spoons close to 120g? They look pretty similar. Very tasty but a bit unhealthy with enough butter and maple syrup.

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tarasis said...

Made these today and they were quite yummy (only half 1.5% milk to hand). The only issue I had was getting the temperature for cooking them. So some were darker brown than I would like.

What sort of heat on say 1-10 do you use? For instance on my hob I use about 2-2.5 for Soda farls, but more like 5 for potato farls (when I made them recently)

Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for putting this recipe on the net. It was just what I was looking for :)

Anonymous said...

Firstly will it work if i use a small frying pan as i do not have a girdle! Secondly, if i made the batter earlier in the day and made the pancakes in the evening would they still be okay? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just made these pancakes for my sister. Unfortunately the majority of them turned out slightly blackened. I think this is due to our stove being a bit too high! Take this advice, with the test pancake please do try to alter the temperature if the pancake cooks within 40 seconds. Thank you Anna for this recipe:)

Rick Thomson said...

Castor Sugar? Never seen that in the stores here (Germany). Will normal white sugar work? Hope so as I used to love these as a kid.

Old-fashioned baker said...

Yes, Stan, it was probably suet your Mum used to grease the Girdle.
We also used to use a piece of the fat cut from Home-cured Bacon (the hams which used to hang on the hooks on the kitchen ceiling)
The panscones were also delicious fried with the bacon although not very good for the cholesterol!
We must be showing our age as youngsters nowadays only know the kind of salty bacon which comes pre-packed in plastic and is full of water !

Anonymous said...

I've got my grans (very very old) girdle pan. I've always used butter to make sure the pancakes don't stick. Gran told me to put a wee bit in a paper towel and just wipe it over the pan before you cook the pancakes. Be sure and wipe for each new batch. Good luck and happy baking

Anonymous said...

Linked to this site from another to see if this could possibly be a better recipe than mine - it's exactly the same!!!
I have these for breakfast most mornings, but use wheat free self-raising flour which works well, I also add blueberries - yummie!

Alex_girl said...

Been using this recipe for nearly 40 years now and they turn out every time. I no longer can eat eggs, just add the same weight of extra milk instead.
When we have any old bananas, I mash one up and put that in the mix and it makes a wonderful dessert pikelet (Mum called them) with ice cream.
I use either oil or melted butter or melted margarine depending on what is available and it always turns out. I leave mine sit for 30 minutes between mixing and cooking for extra YUM.
When the kids were little I always made up a double or triple quantity batches. Down to single batches with no kids at home.

Iola said...

Gorgeous!

Timothy said...

Try my vegan scotch pancakes.

http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/18572/worlds-best-vegan-scotch-pancakes

Anonymous said...

how do none of you know that its a griddle not a girdle which is a garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support. idiots

Wendy Arrowsmith said...

My grandma (who was a master pancake maker and 100%Scottish) used to add a nob of melted butter into her batter mix. It helped stop them sticking (and she always greased the girdle with butter) and also helped keep them fresh for 2 or 3 days. Not they they hung around long when we were visiting! They freeze brilliantly too.

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Anonymous said...

I love scotch pancakes but can no longer tolerate sugar. Do you know of a savoury recipe? From anitacapel@live.co.uk di