Recipe – Daddy’s Pikelets (Drop Scones)


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

Ingredients
  • 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
Method
  1. Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside for about 30 minutes, until curdled.
  2. Sift flour and bicarb soda into a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add sugar, then pour in the egg.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the milk mixture and butter, then beat until smooth.
  5. 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).
  6. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and grease with a little butter.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Turn out onto a clean tea towel and grease the pan again before adding more batter.
  10. Serve hot topped with butter, sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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