My father was famous in our family for cooking one thing: pikelets. He told us they were called drop scones in Scotland where he grew up and, just occasionally, he’d treat us with a batch of these mini-pancakes. I remember the milk was soured with lemon juice and the batter had to rest for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, the batter was dropped into a hot pan and we kids waited in anticipation watching the bubbles slowly form before they were flipped over, then finally out onto a waiting tea towel. We added butter, a sprinkle of sugar and squeeze of lemon juice and popped them into our mouths! After Daddy passed, my sisters and I realised no one had written down his pikelet recipe. It was lost for all time … or so we thought! Recently, while looking through my Nanna’s old recipe file, I came across a pikelet recipe in her handwriting. The words “lemon in milk” jumped out at me … that was what I remembered most about Daddy’s pikelets, watching the milk curdle. Nanna (my mother’s mother) and Daddy spent a lot of time together in the last years of his life; I don’t know for sure that he passed his recipe on to her, but I haven’t come across any other pikelet recipe that curdles the milk for the batter … so I’m going to believe he did. Cook up a batch of these for someone you love soon.
Makes 10 pikelets
- ¾ cup milk
- 3 teaspoons strained lemon juice, plus extra for serving
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 tablespoon castor sugar, plus extra for serving
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 25g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing and serving
- Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside for about 30 minutes, until curdled.
- Sift flour and bicarb soda into a bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and add sugar, then pour in the egg.
- Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the milk mixture and butter, then beat until smooth.
- Cover and set aside for at least an hour (Daddy sometimes refrigerated his overnight; if you do this, return batter to room temperature before cooking).
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and grease with a little butter.
- Give the batter a good stir, then drop spoonfuls of it into the pan, leaving room for it to spread out. I use a ¼ cup measure and drop about half of it at a time (1½ tablespoons per pikelet).
- Cook in batches just a few at a time, for about 2-3 minutes, until bubbles start to break on the surface, then turn over and cook the other side for a minute or so until golden brown.
- Turn out onto a clean tea towel and grease the pan again before adding more batter.
- Serve hot topped with butter, sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.