Before I lived in Edinburgh I had never heard of potato scones. Once I left Edinburgh I couldn’t find them in Melbourne for love or money. The Scots love their fried breakfasts and potato scones were often present in a fry-up when we ate out. But they were also easy to buy in any corner store and heat at home.
E’s parents would often make him a fry up when we stayed at their place in Peebles. I remember his dad frying these scones in lots of butter for E to have with bacon and eggs. As I don’t eat bacon or eggs, I would have fried potato scones with promite (yes, I kept a stash of promite at his parents to ward off my homesickness!) I tried them in the toaster once and almost killed the toaster off in the process.
Now I apologise to anyone who was confused after my discussion about the different meanings of ‘scone’ and ‘biscuit’ in different countries. But Scotland now will have you scunnered with another type of ‘scone’. This one is really just mashed potato mixed with flour, flattened and fried. The Irish also have a version of this but I can’t remember what they call it. It may be farl but I would have to check with my siblings who have spent time living in Dublin.
Terminology aside, I absolutely love these potato scones. They make fry-ups meaningful and delicious. I was delighted when we moved from Edinburgh to Melbourne to discover how easy they are to make at home. Needless to say, they always cheer up E too. So every now and again I make us some potato scones and some fried vegetables, and E gets a fried egg.
A fry-up with potato scones was brunch this morning. As well as the scones, I served fried red onion and tomato with some basil, spinach and kidney beans thrown in at the last moment, and leftover roast potato from the previous night reheated in a frypan. A four frypan brunch is a bit of a juggling act for me. The fourth frypan was for E’s egg and he has to watch it because I dislike egg too much to have ever perfected that art.
I was overly generous with the veggies because I was using up as much as I could before we go away for the week. We are off to Darwin tomorrow so it will be pretty quiet on this blog over the next week. It is the wet season so it will be humid and rainy and uncomfortable – just in case anyone is jealous of the heat up north. I much prefer the mild Melbourne heat we have enjoyed lately. It was very relaxing eating brunch in the sunny backyard this morning. Home comforts always seem more pleasant when you are about to leave.
Potato Scones(From Rampant Scotland)
½lb (225g or 2 fist sized) potatoes
2½oz (65g or ½ cup) plain flour - approximately
25-50g butter, chopped
½ tsp salt
Extra butter for frying
Cut potatoes into large chunks and boil. (I don’t peel them but this is a personal preference.) Mash potatoes with butter and salt. Add flour and mix with a spoon til it comes together (it shouldn’t be too dry so the actual amount of flour needed depends on the type of potato you use). Then I just use my hands to mould/knead it into a ball.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Press with your hands or use a rolling pin to roll out to a ¼ inch thickness. Dust both sides with a little flour. Shape into a 6 inch circle and cut into quarters (if too thick you can cut the circle from the dough and make additional scones with leftovers).
Heat frying pan over medium high heat and grease with a little butter. Fry scones for a few minutes either side til golden brown on each side. Best hot but also taste good cold and they can be reheated on a frying pan.
Update October 2012 - variation: we are loving these with cooked quinoa - I add almost as much cooked quinoa as leftover mashed potato and then mix in as much wholemeal flour as is needed to make a pliable dough. Then I proceed as above.
On the stereo:
Little Earthquakes: Tori Amos