My cousins used to live in Sheffield and when we went to see them my aunty nearly always made Scotch pancakes; my mum was a great baker and cake and biscuit and scone maker, but she never made these girdle scones as they are also known. When I first ate them as a child they seemed strange things, soft and floppy and with a smooth surface… but so delicious with a nice lot of butter! I think my aunty made plain ones without fruit or lemon or any of the other things which are sometimes in these drop scones as they are also called.
Considering how much I like them, it’s strange that I’ve only ever made them a couple of times… I came across a recipe, not for them, but for girdle scones in one of the books my friend gave me, books which had belonged to her mother. It reminded me of Scotch pancakes… I’ve never made girdle scones ever, so maybe I should! The recipe has a rather nice story attached to it; it’s in a collection of recipes originally shared on the radio by Janet Murray in a programme called ‘Morning Call’. This is what Ms Murray wrote:
Slim scones or slappies
I had a letter the other day from a friend who listens to this broadcast, and she reminded me of a farmhouse she and I used to visit. The farm’s wife was an excellent baker, but if she was caught out with all the cake tins empty she was quite unperturbed. She would say cheerfully, ‘I’ll slap oot a scone till the kettle comes to the bile.’
This particular scone was known in the family as a slappy. it is a girdle scone, almost paper thing, delicious to eat hot, and very good cold with a piece of farmhouse cheese. And, as you can see it is very quickly made.
- ½ lb plain white flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2 oz butter
- 1 egg
- ½ cupful of milk
- sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt, and rub in the butter
- beat the egg until it is frothy, add the milk, and stir into the flour
- mix to a soft dough, work lightly
- roll out and form into a circle
- cut in four and bake on a hot girdle, first on one side then on the other until a pale spotty brown