Scottish Cooking: Tattie (potato) Scones – Skins an’ a’
Scottish Cooking – here’s back at you, world
Culture is all … especially when it comes to cooking. Look how we fell in love with curry and Chinese, Thai and so on. Tattie (potato) scones are YUM … here’s back at you, world, from Scottish cuisine.
Easier to make than tossing the caber: Tattie Scones are simple, incredibly tasty and can accompany a wide variety of foods. Here’s how to make a basic version.
By the way: if you don’t enjoy the tactile pleasures of tweaking and squidging stuff with your hands, this recipe probably isn’t for you.
In Scotland, tattie scones often accompany a fry-up. What’s a fry up? Here’s a photo of one from the Cafe 21 in Leven, Fife (near the #EastNeuk).
If you’re going to make these, all the usual: be-sensible-and-safe admonitions apply, hot griddles being what they are.
[Politics – There are a few well padded political backsides I wouldn’t mind sitting on hot, investigative, cast iron. From what I’ve read lately, it’s not just the Brits who’d benefit.]
- 1 lb (450 gm ) potatoes
- 4 oz (115 gm) flour
- ½ tsp (2.5 gm) salt
- 2 oz butter (60 gm) – unsalted if you can get it – substitute oil if you can’t take butter
That’s all you need. Down stream we can explore variations.
Let’s get this (delightful) thing done
- Line-up your ingredients
- Mash your potatoes (cold or hot it doesn’t matter to me – does to others). Are the skins tenacious? Leave ’em on. It can help to dice potatoes with strong skin.
- Add the flour and mix well – a wooden spoon handle works well at the beginning.
- Add the salt and mix well
- Melt the butter, pour in and mix well
- Clump the mix together into a ball
- Flour a spot of your work surface.
- Flatten the mix. You can press it down with your hands or roll it with a rolling pin. Alternative inventive suggestions will get a free audiobook of Angels Cut (9.5 hours long and read by a great British actor) . Comment your ideas to me. The judges decision is final … but bribery can work.
- Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter. Be gentle. Ease the finished, uncooked scones onto a plate. Gentle does it, use a spatula if necessary. (Why rounds? Turning over is easy)
- Flatten remainder into triangles (ish)
- Heat griddle. Lightly wipe butter onto the griddle. Paper towel works quite well. Once it’s warm, ease up on the heat.
- Griddle everything (about 4/5 minutes each side) and lay on rack to cool.
When you’re ready you can toast, oven-warm or fry your tattie scones. YUM.
Almost exact science
You can vary amount you make as long as you keep to the proportions and adjust for the binding you want. Start by weighing your potatoes and calculate from there.
As you work the mixture, don’t be scared to add more flour if it is too wet. What I call “wetness” is when the mixture is too loose and won’t bind into a dough-like ball. A bit of flour at a time will soon bind the mix.
Waxy vs floury potatoes
You achieve a consistent texture before cooking using flour (as in binding) to get it just right. I’ve found that an increase of flour, by roughly half works for wetter tatties. Just chuck flour in, mix it and make your dough.
Artistic pain … admirers gain
This has taken longer to write than it does to make tattie scones. Have a go. Enjoy.
Bask in the admiring glances of the people who eat your creations. Here’s mine.
© Mac Logan