By now you’re probably aware that this Tuesday (8 March) is Shrove Tuesday or more importantly in my opinion…Pancake Day! Despite the fact that I absolutely love pancakes, I only have them once a year; eating them on any other day just doesn’t feel right!
Historically Pancake Day was a chance to use up all of the rich foods in your larder the day before the fasting period of Lent commenced on Ash Wednesday. Pancakes themselves are pretty healthy, which gives you the perfect excuse to go as mad, bad and naughty with your choice of toppings as you like!
The recipe I use is one that my Mum passed onto me years ago from her Be-Ro cookbook – it’s fool/fail proof so why not give it a go…
You will need…
100g plain flour
A pinch of salt
300ml semi skimmed milk
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and break in the egg. Stir together, gradually adding the milk until everything is incorporated. Beat it well with a whisk and some good old fashioned elbow grease until your batter is lump free. It should be the consistency of single cream. Set it aside to rest for half an hour or so.
To cook…put a small amount of oil in a non stick frying pan, over a medium heat. Ladle in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan, tipping it to and fro to ensure that you’ve got an even coverage. Leave to cook for a couple of minutes and then check the underside.
When it’s golden brown, loosen the edges, brace yourself and… flip the pancake over, or if you’re risk averse (read ‘boring’) use a fish slice to turn it over. Cook the other side for a few seconds and then turn out onto a plate and eat straight away with your topping of choice.
There are no hard and fast rules on pancake topping although I personally don’t think you can go wrong with a good sprinkling of sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. But how about mixing it up a bit with some fresh orange and sugar, lashings of nutella, golden, maple or any type of yummy syrup, dulce de leche and ice cream, stewed apples, a drizzle of honey and some nuts for a bit of crunch or bananas flambéed in sugar and rum and served with cream.
Or why not take advantage of this season’s forced rhubarb and cook up some roast spiced rhubarb a la Nigel Slater with a dollop of crème fraiche? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/07/nigel-slater-rhubarb-mackerel-recipes)
Pancake Day comes just once a year…so why not be adventurous!