Spring is yet again upon us and as always at this time of year we ready ourselves for the season of Lent. This starts immediately after Shrove Tuesday which, as always, is celebrated with the humble pancake. Although once regarded as a way to use up rich foods, we now consider the pancake as a simple yet delicious treat. Tomorrow up and down the country people will be frying pancakes and some will even take part in a pancake race, tossing their pancakes as they go. Although simple to make they can easily go wrong. By following my recipe, with built in pancake pitfalls, I can promise you a flipping good Shrove Tuesday.
250g plain flour
Pinch of salt
30ml (2 tbsp) melted butter – (stops sticking and enriches flavour)
Oil for frying
- Place all the ingredients into a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth.(add the wet ingredients first to prevent lumps forming in the base of the liquidiser/food processor).
- Allow to stand for 30 minutes (this is crucial as it allows the starch grains in the flour to absorb the liquid and swell resulting in a stronger, thicker batter. Then on heating it helps form the unique pancake pattern).
- Lightly brush an 8” frying pan with oil and heat to a medium high (try to buy the heaviest frying pan you can, such as cast iron, as this will hold the heat better as it needs to be constant).
- Add enough pancake batter to thinly coat the base (use a ladle to help control the amount) and tilt the pan to allow the batter to spread evenly.
- Cook until completely opaque (DO NOT attempt to flip too soon as the pancake will not be strong enough).
- Carefully flip over the pancake using a long palette knife and cook the underside for a further minute.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture. Stack the pancakes as you go on a plate using pieces of baking parchment in between to stop them sticking. Keep warm in a low oven.
- Serve with the toppings of your choice – lemon juice, sugar, syrup, apple puree, chocolate sauce or freshly chopped fruit.
If the above flat pancakes are not your thing – then why not have a go at American pancakes. Thicker and smaller in size, these stack easily to give you have an amazing yummy tower. Delicious drizzled with maple syrup.
225g plain flour
15ml (1Tbsp) baking powder
10ml (2 tsp) caster sugar
Pinch of salt
25g melted butter
Oil for frying
- Place all the ingredients into a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth. (add the wet ingredients first to prevent lumps forming in the base of the liquidiser/food processor).
- Lightly brush a frying pan (preferably cast iron) with oil and heat – ideally a pan with indents to help shape the pancakes but not essential as the batter is thick and won’t spread too much.
- Once hot, add one large tablespoon of batter per pancake, allowing space to spread should you have a plain frying pan.
- Fry the pancakes until opaque in colour and firm underneath – at this stage you can add blueberries before turning for a different variety – see photo below.
- Carefully flip over each pancake and cook the underside for a further minute. (DO NOT attempt to flip too soon as the pancake will not be strong enough).
- Repeat with remaining mixture.