Vanilla and blackberry drop scones
These were a Saturday favourite growing up. We used to make them with blueberries or strawberries on the top of the Aga at home, topping them with too much butter and far too much maple syrup. We’d make a triple batch of batter as my sister Laura and I would eat 8 or 10 on the trot.
These are a more grown-up version made with blackberries and vanilla and finished with a saffron-spiked yoghurt. Warm from the saffron, sharp and sweet from the blackberries and comforting from the childhood association. The 8-year-old in me could eat these all day.
MAKES ABOUT 10
175g white spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 medium organic egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
150ml milk (I use unsweetened almond or oat)
150g ripe blackberries
a knob of unsalted butter
a small pinch of saffron strands
100g plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons runny honey, plus extra for the table
To make the batter put the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Use a balloon whisk to stir the dry ingredients and get rid of any lumps of baking powder. Crack in the egg, then add the vanilla and the milk and use the whisk to stir everything into a thick batter. Crush the blackberries slightly, then ripple these through the mixture with a wooden spoon, so you get lovely stains of deep purple as they cook.
Next soak the saffron in a tablespoon of boiling water. Mix the yoghurt with the honey in a separate small bowl.
You can fry the drop scones on a hot flat griddle or in a frying pan. Put your oven on at its lowest setting. Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and allow it to melt and froth. Use a small ladle to scoop 4 small rounds of batter into the pan – you
want each one to be about 5cm wide. Cook for a couple of minutes, until bubbles rise to the top and the bottom looks set and golden. Carefully and quickly flip the rounds over and cook for another minute or so until golden and cooked through; keep these warm on a plate in the oven while you cook the rest, adding more butter to the pan as you go if you need to.
Mix the saffron liquid into the yoghurt and mix until it’s buttercup yellow. Serve the drop scones with the yoghurt, some more blackberries if you like, and a little more honey for drizzling over.
Image: Ana Cuba
Recipe: from The Modern Cook’s Year