This scone recipe was sent by Queen Elizabeth II to Dwight David Eisenhower, on January 24, 1960, in response to the President’s earlier request. When President and Mrs Eisenhower visited the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1959, they apparently loved the little British breads. Here’s the letter that accompanied the recipe:
Dear Mr. President,
Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral. I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful.
Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated.
I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too.
I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking.
We have followed with intense interest and much admiration your tremendous journey to so many countries, but feel we shall never again be able to claim that we are being made to do too much on our future tours!
We remember with such pleasure your visit to Balmoral, and I hope the photograph will be a reminder of the very happy day you spent with us.
With all good wishes to you and Mrs. Eisenhower.
The Queen’s drop scones recipe
4 teacups flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teacups milk
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Beat eggs, sugar and about half the milk together; add flour. Mix well, adding remainder of milk, bicarbonate and cream of tartar. Fold in butter.
Enough for 16 people.
Source: Queen Elizabeth II, via the National Archives American Bicentennial exhibit, 200 Years of Collections at the National Archives