Fit for a queen and for a president
Her Majesty the Queen is a woman of many talents: she is a prolific letter writer (she's written 3.5 million pieces of correspondence in her 90 years); she created the dorgi (a dachshund/corgi mix and yes, it is adorable); and, oh yeah, she has reigned for 65 years—the longest of any of Britain's monarchs. Her talents extend to the Royal kitchen as well. A new book, Royal Teas:Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace, offers 40 recipes that royal chef Mark Flanagan and royal pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson make for the nearly 30,000 afternoon teas they're responsible for every year. There's also, however, a recipe for drop scones from the Queen herself.
Drop scones, or Scotch pancakes, are small, dense versions of our big American pancakes, and they're a typical teatime treat, usually served with butter and jam. (You'd imagine, however, they'd be just as good covered in syrup or topped with yogurt and berries.) In June of 1959, the Queen made them for President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife Mamie when they came to visit her at Balmoral Castle."We believe President Eisenhower liked them because they were close to American breakfast pancakes and they made him feel at home," Jacky Colliss Harvey from The Royal Collection Trust, which published Royal Teas, suggested.
The president and his wife apparently enjoyed them so much, in fact, they asked the Queen for recipe. A few months later, in January of 1960, Her Majesty obliged, sending the recipe, along with a very detailed letter.
In the Queen's letter, she says she sometimes uses "golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too." She also asserts that "the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn't stand about too long before cooking." And if you're making drop scones for fewer than 16 people, she simply reduces the amount of flour and milk, and keeps everything else the same. The recipe only contains instructions for combining ingredients, not how to cook them. Presumably, you treat them just like pancakes: pouring a bit on a griddle, and flipping over when ready.
My favorite part of the recipe though? The measurements are in "teacups:" "2 teacups of milk," for example. So perfectly British.