These are a traditional Irish afternoon tea recipe and can be made using a soda bread recipe if no self-raising flour is available. However, adding the baking powder gives them an extra rise. The quick berry compote is a wonderful substitute for berry jam.
For the berry compote: place the blackberries, two tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Crush the berries roughly with a potato masher. Simmer until liquid has evaporated. Taste and add more sugar and lemon juice if necessary. This will depend on the sweetness of the berries.
For the drop scones: combine flour and baking powder in a bowl, add sugar and salt and mix. Make a well in the centre, break in the egg and whisk, gradually drawing in the flour from the edge. Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time, to form a smooth batter.
Place large frying pan over medium heat. Melt a little butter in the pan then wipe out with kitchen towel. Drop tablespoons of batter into the pan, keeping them well apart to prevent sticking. Cook for two minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes until golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining mixture if necessary. Remove from the pan and serve warm with blackberry compote and thick cream.
If preferred, the blackberries can be sieved after they have been mashed. Just add a few of the seeds back in to the mixture. However in this case it would be better to start with more blackberries and add a little water to make the sieving easier. Wiping out the excess butter ensures the first batch will cook evenly.