For those who follow me on social media (@TheKatiePix), you’ll know that this blog post has been whipped up in record time. Despite my years of professional experience in the food and digital industry… I forgot it was Pancake Day. One of few days in the foodie content calendar when ‘what should I write about?‘ is never a question asked.
Let ‘Fat Tuesday’ commence! The origins of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday seems to derive from the need to eat up fatty foods before Ash Wednesday, when God-fearing folk would adhere to the Spartan and functional diets espoused by the church during Lent. A lot of people use Lent as a way of testing willpower – often giving up things like chocolate before Easter, to justify inhaling your body weight’s worth come Easter Sunday. I, for one, shall be giving up Ribena. Not a sacrifice for most, but stick around and you’ll get to know my obsession.
Here are two fundamental Pancake recipes for your repertoire…
The Classic English Crêpe
This recipe is the one most Brits will be getting stuck to the kitchen ceiling and is actually the same as Yorkshire Pudding batter. An English ‘pancake’ is marginally thicker than the beautiful French crêpe, but the same principals apply. Treat this recipe as a blank canvas to add your favourite toppings to. It’s elegant, crisp, lacy, and, unsweetened, can partner anything from fried eggs to Nutella.
- 100g plain flour (if you’re feeling adventurous, you can swap flours for wholemeal)
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 300ml of milk
- 1tbsp melted butter
- pinch of salt
Place your flour and salt into a large bowl. Crack in your eggs and pour in the milk. Whisk well until you get a smooth batter, or alternatively blitz it all in a liquidiser. Leave to one side for 15 minutes. Resting lets the gluten relax, so you don’t get chewy pancakes.
Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, rub a knob of butter around the pan so it melts and pour in a ladle of the batter.
Lift the pan off of the heat and tilt it so that the batter spreads all over the base
Place the pan back until the batter starts to come away from the sides and you can remove it easily from the pan. Once golden underneath, flip the crêpe over and cook for a further minute until cooked through.
For best results, serve straightaway with your favourite topping, or stack your pancakes on a plate and keep warm in a low oven until you’re ready to tuck in.
The Good Ol’ American Stack
If you’re a fan of a thicker, more fluffy stack of pancakes, let’s take a look at our American cousins. Pile up these pancakes with fresh fruit, a dollop of crème fraîche, bacon, maple syrup… go big or go home.
- 135g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 130ml milk
- 1 large free-range egg
- 2 tbsp melted butter
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes to give that gluten some chill time.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem very thick but this is spot on. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm thick.
Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.
Happy Pancake Day, everyone!
For toppings, tips and three more fantastic pancake recipes, check out my playlist on YouTube!