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Dec 30, 2010 01:13 PM

Anyone ever seen or used a gem scone pan?

While discussing "national" cooking via email a while back, a friend in Australia mentioned gem scones, which she hasn't made in years because they need a special cast iron "gem scone pan". I google'd gem scones and they seem to utilize the same principle as popovers: Heavy, preferably cast iron, pan preheated in oven, batter poured in, and the steam provides most if not all of the "rise". They are smaller than popovers, though ... seems like more of a Dunkin' Munchkins size. I loooove the texture and taste of popovers and would love to try making gem scones (which sound like a sweeter, slightly cakier popover) but apparantly these pans are totally unknown/don't exist other than Down Under.

Anyone ever come across one of these? I'd try for one on except that the shipping cost for cast iron from Australia to the eastern USA would be beyond horrendous.

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  1. Griswold and Wagner apparently made them back in the day, maybe others. Try searching for a "golf ball" pan. I found a few on ebay.

    For new, you might evaluate an aebleskiver pan. The sizing may not be the same, however. I can't really tell from the pictures and haven't ever seen a "gem scone" or an aebleskiver either.

    Here's one to look at.

    2 Replies
    1. re: slopfrog

      The Wiki article for Takoyaki, Japanese octopus balls, has links to both aebleskiver and yorkshire pudding. Except for the seasonings (dashi granules etc), the batter is similar (flour, eggs, and water).

      1. re: slopfrog

        Wow, I never even THOUGHT to search under "golf ball pan"... obviously one was made by Griswold of cast iron. Just as obviously, they are considered 'collectibles' now (from the prices all hovering on one side or another of $100).

        I'm going to ask my Australian friend what the diameter of a typical gem scone pan cup is. The Griswold ones are a skootch over 2" apparantly.

        I actually did look at the aebleskiver pan and considered it even though the sizing, as you mentioned, is different. I think the big functional difference between the gem scone/golf ball pans and the aebleskiver is that the gem scone pans have an open construction style... like the good popover pans do... which more or less suspends the individual cups and allows the oven to heat each one uniformly and to the max. I've made popovers in a solid-top popover pan and also in one of the "openwork" ones, in the same oven/same temp/same recipe, and there was a difference. Not dealbreaking, true, but noticeable to Fussy Moi at any rate. :)

        1. re: pdxgastro

          I doubt it. First, gem scone pans are always cast iron, because of the need to get them sizzling hot before putting in the batter (in fact they are called "gem scone IRONS" rather than "pans" by the Aussies ... I used "pans" because we Yanks see the word "irons" and think either clothing care, golf, or fireplace implements, LOL). Not sure whether a nonstick pan surface would survive being preheated empty in a 500+ degree oven, and according to this very informative piece on gem scones/irons, thinner pans (i.e., aluminum) just don't work properly:

          I think too that the mini muffin cups would be too small and/or too tall/high sided. Gem scones seem to be more uniform (circular) in shape, so the golfball pans referenced above appear to be the closest match. Wish they were a bit cheaper though; that's a lot to spend for a pan used for just one recipe!