Buttermilk drop cakes with lemon curd

Topped with warm lemon curd and served straight from the stove, these drop cakes are a sure-fire way to draw everyone to the breakfast table. Serve with berries and crème fraîche.

drop cakes
Susan Bell

SERVES 4

320g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a good pinch of sea salt
50g caster sugar
2 large eggs
290ml buttermilk
60g butter, plus extra for frying
crème fraîche and berries, to serve

FOR THE LEMON CURD
90g butter, cubed
140g caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
120ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg

FOR THE MINT SUGAR
4 tbsp caster sugar
a good handful of mint leaves

1. First, make the lemon curd. Put the butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir until well combined and the butter has melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set to one side.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Add this to the lemon and butter mixture and whisk to combine. Return the bowl to the simmering saucepan and heat for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
3. To make the mint sugar, simply either blitz the sugar and mint leaves in a food processor or bash them together using a mortar and pestle. Leave to one side.
4. Preheat the oven to 110°C (90°C fan oven) gas mark ¼. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and buttermilk, and whisk everything together to make a smooth batter.
5. Put half the butter in a non-stick frying pan and melt it over a medium-low heat. Mix the melted butter into the batter.
6. Put the frying pan back over the heat and add tablespoonfuls of the mixture in small pools around the pan – you should be able to do 4–5 at a time. Cook for 1 minute on the first side, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip them over and cook for 1 minute.
7. Remove from the pan and keep warm on a plate wrapped up in a tea towel in the oven while you cook the remaining batter in the same way, adding a little more of the remaining butter to the pan each time.
8. Serve the drop cakes warm with the lemon curd drizzled over, some crème fraîche and fresh berries and a sprinkle of the mint sugar.


Recipe from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard, HarperCollins, £20