Pumpkin seed drop scones

Eat these hot from the pan, with a dollop of marmalade, or a trickle of maple syrup or honey. Add a few strips of crisp-fried bacon for a brunchy treat.
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If you are avoiding gluten completely, make sure you choose a buckwheat flour that’s labelled gluten-free.

Makes about 20


* 250g buckwheat flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* a pinch of salt
* 250ml unsweetened almond milk or oat milk
* 2 large eggs
* 30ml rapeseed or sunflower oil, plus extra for frying
* 50g honey
* 50g pumpkin seeds
1. Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and combine them with a whisk.
2. Measure the almond or oat milk into a jug. Add the eggs, oil and honey and whisk together thoroughly so the honey dissolves.
3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the dairy-free milk mixture, whisking as you go.

4. Keep whisking until you have a smooth batter. It should have a slightly gloopy consistency that will pour thickly but easily from a ladle (If it seems unmanageably thick, add a little water – if very thin, a little more flour). Stir in the pumpkin seeds.
5. Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and brush with oil. When hot, drop in puddles of the batter with a ladle, making each one 6–7cm across – you should get four or five in the pan at a time. Cook for about one and a half minutes until the pancakes start to rise and bubbles are showing on the surface.

6. Flip over and cook for another one to two minutes until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with a little more oil as you go.
7. Serve the hot pancakes straight away with marmalade, maple or agave syrup, jam or fresh fruit. Alternatively, dish them up with egg and bacon as an alternative to bread or toast.
* Plain buckwheat drop scones: If you don’t have any seeds to hand, this recipe makes simple and delicious plain breakfast pancakes.

* Buckwheat blinis: leave out the seeds and honey. Add a splash of water to the batter to bring it to the consistency described above, then cook smaller spoonfuls – forming pancakes about 4cm across. Leave to cool before serving topped with smoked fish and a smear of horseradish.

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Extract taken from River Cottage Light & Easy, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury, £25.00, Hardback. Photography © Simon Wheeler 

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