Scottish Girdle Scones are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, light and fluffy, smothered in butter and honey. Amazon affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
Hi. It’s me. I know I disappeared. Which is kind of ironic because except for doctors’ appointments and crossing our fingers and making a mad dash to a beach house in July, I have not left my house in eons. I feel like I should make some comment on what I have been doing or thinking about at home for the last six months but most of it is not fit for print. And I would like to keep my food blog a rage-free zone. Suffice to say like a lot of you I am angry. And having trouble focusing. And worrying, especially as a high risk person. Hopefully these scones will give you something happy to focus on for a few minutes.
A group of wonderful people that I have known online for eons now, dating back to the Cooking Light bulletin boards of all things, started a zoom book group during quarantine. We have ostensibly combined it with baking, but except for these scones I have not been very good at that. Anyway the first book we read was Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner: A Novel, and while having nothing to do with food, it was perfect pandemic reading. Light, fun, romantic, and most important nothing heavy. And it was set in Scotland, which is how I settled on making these scones.
At the same time, I had made friends with a new-ish neighbor. Which is weird during a pandemic I realize. We moved here around the same time but met each other because we were doing what everyone in quarantine was doing (who could), taking walks. Anyway, she was having a baby (that I never got to hold thank you very much Covid-19). What are the pandemic rules, I asked myself? Did I offer food, potentially offering our germs? Did I not offer food, ignoring a time in a family’s life when they most need the support of the community? Ack! I finally decided I would offer and leave it up to them, and they said yes. So in addition to an entree, I also doubled this recipe and sent over warm Scottish Girdle Scones, fresh from the oven.
People, I seriously miss feeding other people. Even if John was not Work From Home, I never send food into Google because Google already provides food. His job has seriously put a crimp in my baking especially! I miss feeding all those hungry college students.
At any rate, these Scottish Girdle Scones were amazing. The kind of amazing where you realize you should not make them often because not only are they amazing, but they taste best fresh from the cast iron pan, leading you to want to devour them all instantly. I recommend them for lazy Sunday brunches, company and sharing with neighbors. And if you just need something to distract you from the state of the world, I recommend them for that too. Thanks to Christina’s Cucina for the recipe I lightly adapted from.
Girdle, which according to my reading online is what a griddle is called in Scotland, just means the scones are cooked on your cooktop, not baked in the oven. Adapted from Christina's Cucina.
- 8 oz AP flour, plus more for rolling out
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/8 t fine sea salt
- 2 T sugar
- 2 T (1/4 stick; 1 oz) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) buttermilk (I prefer full fat for baking)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup currants*
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cube the cold butter and place in a mixer with the sugar. Use a flat beater to combine--don't worry about it being perfect. You are not creaming this until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and once again beat to combine.
Mix in the currants
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg until the egg is thoroughly emulsified into buttermilk. Then add the buttermilk mixture to the mixer bowl and beat until just combined.
Remove about half of the dough and pat it into a circle--be sure not to over-handle. Roll to about 3/4 inch thickness, and then use a biscuit cutter to cut into circles. I used a 2-inch diameter circle. Set aside on a platter for cooking. Repeat with remaining dough and when you are down to scraps just make a scone or 2 shaped with your hands that will not be perfect circles. Think of them as the cook's treat!
As with pancakes, it may take 1 or 2 scones the first time you make these to get the heat just right for your particular cooktop. Cast iron or enameled cast iron works best. If you are concerned use a little butter to grease the pan (if you use stainless steel, which I do not recommend, you may need a lot of butter which will change the final result). On my induction cooktop medium to slightly below medium heat worked best, although I started at a higher temperature. You will know it is ready when a little flour sprinkled on the surface turns light brown immediately.
Cook on the first side until the scone is raised and light brown on the bottom. Flip to cook until light brown on the other side and cooked all the way through. As with pancakes, you may need to slice into your first one to make sure you are getting it right, but after that it will go fast. And after that first one, you can cook more than one at a time, but do not overcrowd them or they will not rise properly or brown.
These scones in dough form felt quite heavy and then when they were done they were quite light. My best guess is from water evaporating.
Smother in butter and honey and devour immediately. Or take some to the neighbor wrapped in a towel.
*You can leave the currants out if you are going for more of a plain biscuit, but I love dried fruit in scones.
Looking for scones you bake in the oven? Check here!