When I was growing up, Shrove Tuesday was sort of celebrated with the obligatory, standard pancakes served with sugar and lemon religiously when I got home from school, as I think it was in most homes. Nothing wrong with that of course but as a kid that was Pancake Day over, oh not to forget the pancake race which from memory happened sporadically. These days, in the business I’m in, we make a bit more of an effort and will showcase both sweet and savoury pancakes on the menu in the restaurants Along with variations of the classic thin pancakes that we are all used to.
Pancakes can and should be an all the year round thing I reckon, and not just appear when we suddenly remember it’s Shrove Tuesday. Actually most of us do know or remember that Shrove Tuesday is celebrating the feast day before the start of Lent which falls on Ash Wednesday and the forty days leading up to Easter, which is the traditional fasting period. The name Shrove Tuesday which I was probably taught at school and quickly forgot came from Anglo Saxon Christians who went to confession and were ‘shriven’ basically absolved from their sins. So most of us love a pancake and until I was in my late teens, I didn’t realise that pancakes don’t necessarily have to be the thin things we were brought up with once a year. A pancake which comes in various forms from the classic one to drop scones or ‘dropped’ scones as they call them in Scotland can be served both savoury and sweet, filled or topped or even turned into a crepe soufflé with a kind of soufflé type filling and again sweet or savoury.
Try this Buttermilk drop scones with clotted cream ice cream, Kingston black and rhubarb, which serves 4-6 people.
For the topping.
A couple of sticks of rhubarb (150-180g), trimmed and cut into roughly 1cm
150ml apple juice
60 ml Kingston Black (optional)
4 scoops of good quality clotted cream ice cream
For the drop scones:
150g gluten-free self-raising flour
30g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
Butter for frying
Bring the sugar, Apple juice and Kingston Black to the boil, dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir into the sugar and water mixture and simmer for 2-3 minutes to form a thick liquid as the rhubarb will dilute it a little. Add the rhubarb, bring back to the boil then remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool giving it an occasional stir.
To make the dropped scones, gently whisk the flour, egg, sugar and buttermilk together to form a thick, smooth batter that just drops off the spoon.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and rub it with a little butter. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes until bubbles rise, then turn them over with a palette knife or spatula and cook for another couple minutes.
Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream and the rhubarb and sauce spooned over.