Cut the strawberries in half or in
quarters if large, and put in a pan with
the sugar and lemon juice. Heat gently
until the sugar dissolves, then bring to
a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the
strawberries for 3 mins or until dark red
and syrupy. Cool, then add the balsamic
vinegar, if using. The compote can be
stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the drop scones, the best
flavour and golden colour will come
from cooking them in clarified butter.
Melt the butter gently in a small pan,
then pour the clear yellow layer into
a jug. Discard the white solids.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing
bowl, and stir in the sugar. Make a well
in the middle, crack in the egg, then add
the vanilla and a splash of milk. Whisk
until thick and smooth, then whisk in
the remaining milk. Put a few tbsp extra
caster sugar in a shallow container,
ready for sugaring the drop scones.
Heat a non-stick frying pan, then add
a splash of clarified butter and swirl it
around. Spoon in 4 dessertspoons of
the batter, spacing them well apart, to
make drop scones about 7cm across. As
soon as bubbles appear on the surface,
flip the scones and cook until puffed in
the middle. Keep warm while you cook
another batch. Toss the scones in the
caster sugar, then serve with strawberry
compote and a scoop of ice cream.