Today it’s Shrove tuesday – also known as Pancake Day; an excuse to whip up some crêpes, hotcakes, scotch pancakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes or good old fashioned pancakes! Shrove tuesday is the day before Ash wednesday, which is the first day of Lent – being linked to Easter the date changes year to year. Pancakes are traditionally associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs (eggs, milk and sugar) before the fasting period. Traditionally, people fast during Lent, however, nowadays most people just observe the tradition by giving up something for the duration (usually chocolate, sweets, meat or desserts). I myself however firmly stand by my gluttonous ways and have only ever given up something for Lent once…I didn’t last long…no surprises there! That being said I thought I’d share my foolproof crêpe recipe and my delicious recipe for thick, fluffy american-style flapjack pancakes. Whether you observe Lent or not and whatever your pancake preference- be sure to indulge in this one day a year where you know everyone will be as gluttonous as you!
- 50g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1/5 tbsp sunflower oil (plus extra for frying)
- pinch of salt
- Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Crack the egg into the middle, pour in half the milk and 1/5 tbsp oil. Start whisking from the centre, slowly incorporating the flour into the eggs mix. Once all mixed together, beat until you have a smooth thick paste. Add a little more milk if it’s too stiff.
- Add a good splash of the remaining milk and whisk to loosen the batter. The batter should be the consistency of slightly thick pouring cream. **If too thick, add more milk. If too watery, add more flour
- Heat the pan over a moderate heat, wipe with oiled kitchen paper. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting the pan to move the batter around for a thin and even layer.
- Leave this layer undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Once little bubbles begin to form on the surface – then you’re ready to flip.
- Hold the pan handle and carefully ease a spatula under the pancake. Quickly and carefully, lift the pancake and flip it over. Make sure the pancake is lying flat and cook for another 30 seconds.
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1/5 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 150ml milk
- Small knob of butter – melted
- Sunflower oil for cooking
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre.
- Beat together the egg and milk. Whisk the wet mixture into the centre of the dry ingredients to gradually make a thick smooth batter.
- Beat in the melted butter until the batter is a smooth consistency.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of batter per pancake into the pan. Make three or four pancakes at a time.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface.
- Flip the pancakes carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
- The Traditional: Sugar & lemon juice
- The Indulgent: Nutella & banana slices
- The Exotic: Sliced mango, stem ginger syrup and greek yoghurt
- The Savoury: Fried chopped onion, bacon and grated cheddar
- The American: Blueberries & golden syrup
- The Canadian: Maple syrup & bacon
- The French: Sliced ham & grated gruyere cheese
- The Greek: Greek yoghurt & honey
- The Moorish: Sliced sausages (put into the batter whilst frying, before flipping) & maple syrup
- The Romantic: Sliced strawberries & melted chocolate (melt a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave)
- The Sickly Sweet: Honey cinnamon syrup (dissolve 4 tablespoons honey, 2.5 tablespoons butter and 1/2 tsp cinnamon over a medium heat)
How will you be enjoying your pancakes this Shrove tuesday?