Ever since Queen Elizabeth II died last week, I have been thinking a lot about her life.
Her Majesty lived for 96 years and reigned for over 70 of them. And I feel like even though she was a monumental figure in history for so long, I didn’t really know too much about her day-to-day “normal” life. So, it got me thinking, what were the Queen’s favorite recipes? Like, what did she like to eat daily?
My curiosity was satiated when I came across this recipe of hers on Reddit for “drop scones,” also called Scotch pancakes. They’re apparently very similar to American pancakes, but thicker and smaller in diameter.
The Queen purportedly gave President Eisenhower this recipe 63 years ago, in 1959. For context, that’s the year Hawai’i became a state, and the year The Twilight Zone aired its first episode. Anyway, this is a photo of the two from that year.
I figured that seeing an old recipe of hers floating around the internet was the universe’s way of telling me to give the drop scones a try. Plus, I thought it would be the perfect way to honor Queen Elizabeth II.
I gathered all the ingredients the recipe called for, which included flour, caster sugar, milk, eggs, cream of tartar, butter, and bi-carbonate soda, also known as baking soda.
First, I cracked two eggs into a bowl.
Next, I measured out 4 tablespoons of caster sugar and added it to the eggs. Caster sugar is also referred to as “superfine sugar,” although it doesn’t seem to be as common in the US as it is in the UK. The size of each sugar grain is smaller than “regular” granulated sugar but larger than confectioner’s sugar.
I followed that with 1 1/2 cups of milk, equal to 2 teacups, which is the first half of what her majesty’s recipe calls for.
After mixing the wet ingredients together, I added 3 cups of flour, and then the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk.
I then added 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar.
Last but not least, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and added it to the batter.
The mixture blended nicely together and — shocker — smelled exactly like pancake batter… in a really good way? It made me really hungry.
The batter was smooth but definitely a bit on the thicker side, or at least not as runny as American pancake batter.
There were no actual cooking instructions on the recipe, but after consulting the BBC and some comments on Reddit, it seems as if you’re supposed to cook them like you would American pancakes. Drop scones are supposed to be small, so I decided to use a 1/4 cup measuring tool to scoop the batter into my butter-greased pan.
Luckily, the second one looked way better.
And the third was perfectly golden.
There was a lot of batter, so it ended up making around 10 pancakes. (I will admit I ended up throwing out a few since I burnt them so badly.) The recipe actually says that it makes enough for 16 people, so I guess these were supposed to be even smaller than I made them. For reference, the drop scones pictured below are about five inches in diameter.
At last, it was time to give them a try. I would estimate that the cook time took around 35 minutes, including the preparation for the batter.
Per the suggestions of redditors, I decided to eat them with strawberry jam and butter.
After cutting them open, I noticed they were definitely thicker than the average American pancake. They smelled buttery and looked moist.
After taking the first bite, I was honestly a bit surprised by how delicious these were. They somehow taste way better than American pancakes — which I guess, isn’t that hard to beat considering some box pancake mixes can actually taste like cardboard. With that being said, these drop scones taste the way pancakes SHOULD taste.
They are delightfully chewy with a dense, pound cake-like consistency. They were great with some dollops of butter and jam. I would highly recommend everyone start making these instead of traditional American pancakes.
I guess I’ll never know much about the Queen’s personal life, but at least I now know that she had great taste in pancakes.
Have you tried drop scones before? Let me know in the comments.