Today is Shrove Tuesday which is a day observed by some Christians, it’s the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent starts. In some places it is celebrated with Mardi Gras, a carnival celebrating the last indulgence before Lent starts. In little old Britain we celebrate it with Pancake Day! Personally, I love pancakes so I think I prefer our tradition. I believe pancake day came about as a way to use up the eggs and milk you have before you start fasting, at least that’s what I was always told.
Our pancakes are a little different to US pancakes. Ours are more like crepes I guess, I’m not sure what the difference between crepes and pancakes are, I’ve never made crepes (maybe there is no difference, that’s a google for another time) . The traditional way to eat them is with caster sugar and lemon juice, it also happens to be my favourite way to eat them. American pancakes are a different matter, they are best with lots of syrup and bacon yum yum! I love both types equally. Today I had these pancakes, tomorrow we’ll be going out to the original pancake house for some fluffy American pancakes (maybe without the bacon since it’s Ash Wednesday and meat isn’t allowed).
You can put pretty much whatever you like on pancakes though, my other favourites include Nutella and ice cream! The pancake batter is just flour, eggs, milk, salt and a little butter, which means you can pair them with anything savoury or sweet making them super versatile.Let me know your favourite type of pancakes and how you like to eat them in the comments!
When I was younger, pancake day was about stuffing yourself with as many pancakes you could possible cram in, until you couldn’t move for hours. Today, I limited myself to just three like an adult! I only made a little batter since it was only me in the apartment! It’s a really simple batter to make, you just mix flour, eggs, milk, salt and a little butter together until smooth and thin and then you’re ready to go. The secret to making a good pancake is getting your pan really hot and then turning it down to a medium heat just before you pour the batter in. This is much easier to achieve when you have a gas stove (which I don’t here) but you can manage it with electric. My other tip would be to do a test pancake first to see how much batter you need (I find about 3 tbsp is good for a 10″ pan), then use a ladle or something similar to pour the batter in the pan as you want it all in the pan at once so it cooks evenly.
Have a great day everybody. If you observe lent, let me know what you’re giving up in the comments below!
[recipe title=”Pancakes” servings=”6-8 10inch pancakes”]
- 110g plain flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl from a height so the flour gets a good airing. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Whisk the eggs into the flour.
- Gradually add the milk and continually whisk. Don’t worry about any lumps, they’re disappear as you go. When all the liquid is added, scrape down the sides to make sure its all incorporated.
- Melt the butter in your pan and add two tablespoons of it to the batter and whisk in. Pour the rest of the melted butter into a bowl and use it to oil your pan, using paper towel to smear it around the pan before each pancake.
- Now, get the pan really hot and then turn the heat down to medium. Pour the batter into the pan, as soon as the batter hits the pan tip it from side to side to get the base of the pan all covered. It should only take a minute or so to cook, you can lift the edges up with a fish slice to see if its browning. Flip the pancake over (with your fish slice, or with your mad flipping skills if you have them!) the second side will only take a few seconds. Then just slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
- Stack the pancakes with sheets of parchment paper in between, with the plate on top of a pan of simmering water to keep them warm while you make the rest
- Serve immediately with the toppings of your choice.