Friday, June 09, 2006

Queen Elizabeth II's Scone Recipe

Note: These apparently turn out rather a lot like pancakes a there is an excellent exploration of this recipe and how to bake them from an American-measurement-and-equipment perspective here:

Got this from a November 2005 Washington Post story. 

Caster or castor sugar is apparently a superfine sugar; my best guess so far is that a "teacup" is equal to 1/3 of a pint of a liquid; some sources have it as equivalent to 1/2 cup and 4/5 cup. Golden syrup is corn syrup.

(Below Liz's original, I wrote out my best guess at what modern equivalents would work out to.)

From the Washpost story:

Here’s a royal postscript to the recent visit of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, from the just-released collection called "Dear Mr. President : Letters to the Oval Office From the Files of the National Archives."
Charles’ mum was a baker.
In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II saw a newspaper photo that showed President Eisenhower barbecuing quail at the Albany, Ga., home of W. Alton Jones, who was described as a friend and wealthy oilman. It reminded her that she had promised during Eisenhower’s visit to Balmoral to send him the recipe for her drop scones. She jotted it down and sent it to him Jan. 24, 1960 :
... Though quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk.... I have also tried using golden syrup or Treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too....
Yours sincerely,
Elizabeth R
To make 16 scones, she called for “4 teacups flour, 4 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar, 2 teacups milk, 2 whole eggs, 2 teaspoons bi-carbonate soda, 3 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons melted butter.”
Directions : “Beat eggs, sugar and about half the milk together, add flour, and mix well together adding remainder of milk as required, also bi-carbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter.” (No information on baking time and temperature given.)


My translation:

WET ingredients
2 eggs
4 or 5 Tbsp superfine sugar (Grind granulated sugar with a mortar and pestle?)
1 1/3 cup milk

DRY ingredients

2 cups to 3.2 cups flour (Err on the side of less, I think)
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp melted butter
Beat together wet ingredients -- eggs, sugar and about half the milk
Add dry ingredients and mix, using rest of milk as required (Err on the side of less milk)
Fold in the melted butter.

My guess at cooking time: 425 degrees, 12-15 minutes.
Makes 16 scones, says Elizabeth R.

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