Go flipping crazy for Pancake Day!
Shrove Tuesday, which is on 9th February this year, is the last day before lent which is traditionally a time of abstinence. So, Pancake Day is the last chance to indulge in the foods that were originally forbidden during this time such as fat, butter and eggs.
So, why not turn supper time into a fun, family evening of flipping pancakes and indulging in all that makes them so delicious?
It’s quite simple, all you need is five basic ingredients (plain flour, eggs, milk, salt and butter) for your pancake recipes and then toppings of your choice. It is all in the ‘making’ that differentiates the pancakes – whether you want fluffy American pancakes or thin French style crepes.
This basic batter recipe for crêpes and pancakes is a versatile foundation for either sweet or savoury fillings.
140g plain flour
200ml whole milk
25g unsalted butter, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
- Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a medium-size bowl and make a well in the middle. Mix the milk and 100ml of water together. Break the eggs into the well and start whisking slowly. Add the milk and water in a steady stream, whisking constantly and gradually incorporating the flour as you do so.
- Whisk until the batter is smooth and all the flour has been incorporated. Set the batter aside to rest for 30 mins, then whisk the melted butter into the batter.
- Heat the pan over a medium heat. Very lightly grease the pan with melted butter. Using a ladle, pour roughly 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and swirl it around so the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. You want to use just enough batter to make a delicate, lacy pancake. Cook the pancake for about 45 secs on one side until golden and then using a palette knife or fish slice, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 secs until it freckles.
- Slide the pancake out of the pan and either serve immediately or stack on a plate with baking parchment in between. Continue until all the batter is used up.
Beat the bloat by using specialist flour in these light crepes.
125g gluten-free plain flour
Butter, for frying
- Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk. Use an electric or balloon whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture. Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Stir again before using.
- Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter. When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer. Cook for a few mins until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more butter for frying as necessary.
- Serve with agave syrup and a squeeze of orange juice or your pancake filling of choice.
Fluffy American Pancakes
Try something different this pancake day – perhaps even for breakfast if you have no time in the evening.
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 knob of butter, melted
Butter or oil for frying
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk, then add the egg and melted butter. Beat well until the pancake batter is smooth.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease with butter or vegetable oil. To test to see if the pan is hot enough, flick a bit of water on the pan. If it sizzles, it is ready. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan.
- Cook each pancake until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges have gone slightly dry. Flip each pancake and cook for a minute or two on the reverse side, until golden brown.
Serve hot with your favourite toppings, such as maple syrup and fresh berries, crispy bacon or banana. Enjoy!
For savoury toppings try combining classics like fried egg, tomato, ham and cheese, or even parma ham for a more sophisticated palette. Smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives is another tried and tested combination along with bacon, cheese and mushroom. Why not experiment with stir-fried chicken, pesto and cheese or replacing ham with chorizo? Or how about chicken and garlic mushrooms or a chili pancake topped with sour cream and cheese?
For those of us with a sweet tooth, classics such as lemon and a sprinkling of sugar, or maple syrup topped with banana, or even chocolate spread with strawberries often appear to be the front runners. However, for a healthier twist, consider using berries, a compote or salsa of fruit to accompany the pancake. Classics like apple and cinnamon are another family favourite. There is of course the option of adding ice cream, crème fraiche or cream with a sauce of your choice to any of your toppings for that extra bit of luxury!
Happy Pancake Day and have a flipping good time!