Sunday 10 February 2008

Potato Scones for Brunch

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)
Serves 2-4

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


  1. In the States, most breakfast menus offer "hash browns" or "home fries" but I think "potato scones" sound much more appealing.

  2. These *scones* sound wonderful. I'm a big fan of quick breads and will hopefully have a chance to give these a try soon.

  3. I like the potato scones that I have never heard of before. Sounds like the perfect thing to go with a salad for lunch! And I am sure they tasted great outdoors in the sun!
    Have a good trip to Darwin! Oh my gosh, I got to go to Darwin about 12 years ago. My hubby and I rented a bush camper in Darwin and camped in many parks and gorges just south of Darwin. We were there the first week of December and the place was empty! It was a trip of a lifetime!

  4. I like my potato scones with baked beans for Sunday brunch!
    The first time Graham and I saw soda farls in the supermarket, he misread it and found it hilarious (substitute the l in farl with a t), do men ever grow up?

  5. thanks Lisa Rene - potato scones seem more healthy than hash browns although maybe not as they are quite buttery - but I do like my hash browns for breakfast!

    thanks Lisa - these are really easy and I am sure you would enjoy - I sometimes mash the potato the day before (or have leftovers) but it doesn't take much energy to prepare the potatoes in the morning.

    Thanks WineDeb - I think these would be great with a salad but I associate them with breakfasts so that is how I usually serve them - must try them at other times of the day. Glad you enjoyed Darwin - especially as it sounds like you were there in the wet season and would have had a lot of rain - and yes there are some beautiful places near darwin - we went to kakadu a few years ago - this trip is mostly business so there wont be much sightseeing unfortunately!

    thanks Holler - you gave me a good laugh about Graham - I agree with you that baked beans are great with potato scones.

  6. The scones sound different and delicious - the perfect Sunday brunch. Someday I'll have time to enjoy a nice brunch before Church, but usually it's just tea and toast as I fly out the door. Maybe I need to find my own personal chef...

  7. Wow, those are some impressive tattie scones! I've never made them but am partial to nipping out to the corner shop on a Sunday morning for a couple to have with my eggs.
    I was in Peebles this weekend for lunch. :)

  8. Like Lisa, I adore all kinds of quick breads and these sound yummy! I've always wanted to try farls and the other types of Scottish quick breads from a cookbook I have, so this makes it sound very doable. Nice reminder to go get that book off the shelf.

    PS. Hope you have a great week!

  9. Mind you with baked beans and all their superpowers, maybe the t should be included!

  10. thank you. thank you. thank you. i've eaten this ages ago and would love to try them again.

  11. You are right the other name for the potato scone is a potato farl. Your look better than shop bought any day.

  12. thanks Monika - I would love to do brunches more often but it is only when I have time and energy! Makes me appreciate it more when I do them.

    Thanks Wendy - I only realised how easy they are to make when I couldn't buy them from the corner store - and lucky you, being in Peebles for lunch - it is such a lovely place

    thanks Ricki - your cookbook sounds like a good one - hope to see some goodies from it on your blog soon. And Darwin is very very wet but it is nice to be here with E.

    Holler - Superpowers is a nice way of expressing the health benefits of beans!

    Thanks Bee - these are really easy so if you know you love them it is worth trying them

    Thanks Katie - I think these do taste better than shop bought (although it is a while since I had shop potato scones)

  13. I spent a year living and working in Scotland - and eating these. Had completely forgotten about them, though - thanks for the reminder!

  14. Oh my you do not know how good these potato scones look to me!! I must have them.

  15. Hello Johanna,

    I have "Tagged" you. If you wish to participate please go to my blog for the rules.

  16. Yum, those tattie scones look amazing! And that's got to be the healthiest looking fry up I've ever seen! :)

  17. thanks A Forkful - glad to remind you of tattie scones - they are worth remembering!

    thanks Eat Me - I agree you must have them - they are easy and yummy!

    Thanks Lisa Rene - will do the tag but might not manage it straight away

    thanks Scottish Vegan - nice to hear from you - hope you are enjoying your tattie scones back in Scotland!

  18. Thanks Johanna. As a Scot it's ironic I need to look up the recipe at all. I remember making them in a cookery lesson in school - many years ago - I do have a memory of baking them in the oven first before frying. I dare say it depends how hungry you are!! As a vegan will calling back to checkout some other tastie recipes from time to time.


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