17 Jan 2010

All hail the Tattie Scone

“It’s not a potato scone, it’s a tattie scone!” my colleague exclaimed, the word “tattie” bouncing out on her Edinburgh accent without its Ts and becoming “ta-ee.”

Tattie scones aren’t always part of a Scottish breakfast but they should be, because there are few things that go more perfectly with a bit of runny egg yolk than these stodgy beauties. Indeed, as soon as my friend had uttered the word “tattie scone,” her expression changed into a far-away dreamy gaze.

“Oooh, tattie scone on an egg banjo….” (I think it highly unlikely that anyone will know what an egg banjo is, as my friend has led me to believe it is something her father came up with. That said, the first person who can describe to me the intricacies of an egg banjo shall be awarded a prize).

You can buy tattie scones in the supermarket, although they will often be wiped out on weekends as people raid the shelves prior to the weekly Sunday fry up. But like most things, they are so much tastier made from scratch and it is a fantastic way to use up leftover mash. Armed with Catherine Brown’s Classic Scots Cookery, I discovered there are only a few ingredients:

Some floury potatoes, mashed
Plain flour
Pinch salt

While the recipe does give specific weights, I realized they are not necessary. It’s all about feeling your way to the right consistency, adding flour until you’ve got a soft, pliable, smooth dough. Roll out some dough on a floured surface until you’ve got a circle that is about ¼ inch thick (or thinner if you prefer). Then cut into four pieces.

I cooked them dry in a fairly hot non-stick frying pan, about three minutes a side. In no time at all they start to brown up and look amazing. You can eat them on their own with butter but they do seem to cry out for fried eggs. And if you really want to be naughty, toss them in with the cooking bacon for that extra crispiness and flavour.

Homey and comforting, make tattie scones once and you won’t ever want to eat your Sunday breakfast without them.

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