My mother used to make these when I was a child. I only tried cooking them fairly recently and can’t help wondering why I waited so long.
They are delicious when eaten straight from the pan, hot and drizzled with butter and home-made strawberry jam. Their success depends on the quality of the griddle. I have a cast-iron frying pan that I use but I remember my mother having an iron square made especially for her by my cousin who was a sheet metal worker. She could rest it over the gas ring and cook the singin’ hinnies.
I would always ask for these scones for my birthday tea as coins, wrapped in greaseproof paper were put inside them. We would refer to them as ‘money scones’. It was always exciting to see who would end up with the most money.
There are many thoughts about the derivation of the name but I’m sure it is the noise they make as they cook. Apparently a mother explained to her daughter that they would soon be ready as she could hear them singing. She then referred to her daughter as ‘hinnie’ – a Northumbrian term of endearment, hence the ‘singin’ hinnie’.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the fat and stir in the currants. Add enough milk to make a dough. Roll out onto a floured tray and cut with scone cutter into rounds of chosen size.
Heat pan and lightly grease. Place scones onto griddle on a very low heat so that the scones can cook very slowly. Turn once and cook on other side. To check that they are cooked remove one of the scones and tap it gently – it should sound hollow.
Slice in half , butter and enjoy.
Our latest monthly column bringing you traditional Northumbrian dishes that you can make at home for all of the family.