It’s Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day over here in the UK. The last day before Lent, it’s a time for the devout to begin reflecting ahead of the penitential season. It’s also a time for everyone to stuff themselves stupid with some sort of junk food. Like pancakes!
‘Pancake’ in the UK means something a bit different from the US. Pancakes over here are typically more like crepes (though the fluffier, more bread-like American pancake is becoming more popular). Traditionally, the thinner crepe-like pancake is eaten today, but for those who prefer the US version, I’ve included a recipe for those as well.
Pancake Day Crepes
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 T butter, melted
3T sugar (if you’re making sweet crepes)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt, sugar, and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or crepe pan over medium high heat (I usually melt the butter in the pan I’m going to use, so it’s all greased up by the time I’m ready to go). Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Set aside while you make the others, separating them with a layer of waxed paper or baking parchment so they don’t stick. Serve hot.
Lemon juice and sugar (a classic)
Grated cheese, with or without ham or some spring onions
Apple sauteed with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar
Berries and whipped cream
Peanut butter and bananas
Any other ideas? Do share below!
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
Scant teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg (optionally separated, see below)
3T melted butter
Sift dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, melted butter, and either the whole egg or the egg yolk, depending on whether you’ve separated the egg. Mix thoroughly until smooth.
If you’re going the separated egg route (which yields a supremely fluffy pancake), beat the egg white until it holds soft peaks. Fold into the pancake batter.
Heat a lightly oiled pan or griddle over medium heat. Cook pancakes until they start to bubble and look a tiny bit dry around the edges. Flip and cook a couple of minutes more, until cooked through. Top as desired and feast away!