Making Tattie Scones with my Nana
I love my Nana. That’s not unusual I suppose, to love your grandmother. But my Nana is wonderful. She’s five foot nothing and she is the most wonderfully kind and giving woman I know who always wants to help everyone. Particularly me. Recently, I tried to make a Scottish favourite, Tattie Scones (or Potato Scones) and they just wouldn’t turn out right. So I did what any self respecting person would do and went straight back to the source. My Nana, who was more than happy to show me again, just how to make them.
One of the first problems I had been having was making mashed potatoes. Surely not, I hear you say. How hard is it to make mashed potatoes? During this little adventure in Tattie Scone making I had tried every method of mashing my potatoes, steaming, whole, roasting whole, boiling whole and yet not once did I try and make mash the way that my grandmother had taught me originally. By cutting the peeled potatoes up and boiling until tender.
My grandmother had made perfect lump-less mash the same way she always has, and it was wonderful. It made me realise that sometimes it’s better to just go back to the basics.
Now at some point you might have expected to see a recipe, or a list of ingredients. But unfortunately, I don’t have them for you.
I know many recipes say use a 5:1 potato to flour ratio if this helps (250 grams of mashed potatoes with 50 grams of flour) but the fact of the matter is, that depending on your potatoes and your mash, you will need different amounts of flour. 50g of flour may not be enough.
When you have a bowl of cold mashed potatoes, add your 50g of flour to begin with and a small splash of water. This may not be enough flour, you may have to keep adding more. You want your dough to be soft and pliable (not unlike a gnocchi dough.)
When your dough has reached this consistency turn it out onto a very well floured work space and sprinkle more flour over the top (as Nana says, there’s not really too much flour at this point.)
Mash is sticky and if your dough is not as tightly bound as need be, this is the point you will realise it. Gently work your dough into a small disc and then roll out. If there is not enough flour incorporated your dough will stick. Never mind, scoop it all up, mix through a little more flour and start again.
When your dough is ready, roll it out to be a little bigger than a dinner plate. You want it to be about 0.5cm in thickness, but a little more or less won’t hurt.
Place a dinner plate over the top and cut out a circle using a small knife. When this is done, cut a cross through the centre quartering your circle.
In a moderately hot frying pan, sprinkled with flour, place your scones to fry for a few minutes or until lightly browned. Nana is adamant that there should be no fats or oils anywhere near this stage of the process, lest you wish to ruin your scones.
When finished they should look something like this.
When you’re ready to eat them, fry them off in a lightly oiled pan and serve with fried eggs and black pudding. Square Sausage if you can get it (there is a wonderful Scottish Butchers in Maroubra.)
But I also like to use these as a substitute for flat breads and love to serve them in a stack with poached eggs on top. You can also use cookie cutters to make the scones into different shapes. I love to use my heart and star shaped ones.