In Welsh, the word for griddle is planc. In Welsh houses, food was traditionally cooked over an open fire, either in a large pot or an iron planc set over the coals. A cast-iron or other heavy skillet on your stove top is a successful substitue for cooking these sconelike griddle cakes. The heat must be moderate so the cakes have time to cook through before the outside gets too crisp. They're also easy to make over a campfire, as long as you place the skillet over coals or at a distance from the flame so it doesn't get too hot.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cool unsalted butter or salted butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
or (scant if using salted butter)
pinch of grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup currants
2 extra-large eggs
By hand: Cut the butter into small pieces. Place 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a bowl. Add the butter and cut with a knife or a pastry cutter to blend together into the texture of coarse meal.
Using a food processor: Cut the butter into several chunks, place in a processor bowl with 1 1/2 cups flour, and process to the texture of coarse meal; turn out into a bowl.
Add the sugar, salt, spices, and currants to the flour mixture and stir to mix. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat briefly with a fork to blend, then add to the mixture. Turn and stir to moisten so it comes together as a firm, moist dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten under your palms, or use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a round 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out cakes. You should be able to get 12 or 13 from the dough.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, rub the cooking surface with a lightly buttered paper towel, then lower the heat to medium-low. Wait several minutes, then place 3 or 4 rounds top side down in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Both sides will be touched with brown and a little black; the cakes will have risen a little, and their sides will still be moist looking. Turn back over and cook on the first side for another minute or so. Lift out and onto a rack to cool and set for 10 minutes or more before eating. Cook the remaining cakes the same way. (If you have two skillets, once you're comfortable with the timing, you can work with both.)
As prepared, each serving contains 210 calories, 13g total fat, 70mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 21g total carbohydrate and 4g protein.