I gather this is a UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia thing - do you have Pancake day where you are?
The pancakes that we have here in the UK on Pancake day are similar to French crepes, just not quite so thin and delicate and they are traditionally served with lemon juice and sugar. They are SO simple to make, SO cheap and SO delicious I invite you to give them a go - wherever you are in the world.
Just in case this whole Pancake day thing is new to you, here's the basic recipe I've always used. We usually make double mix or more.
Pancake Batter - makes 12
8oz (225g, 1 3/4 cups) Plain Flour
2 x Eggs
1 pt Milk (any kind is fine)
You will also need:
Cooking oil - I use sunflower, I guess a spray would be fine
A frying pan or 2 (see tips below)
Toppings - lemon juice, sugar, honey, syrup, jam, fresh or dried fruit, chocolate spread, chocolate sauce...
- Put the flour in a big bowl, add the eggs and half the milk. Mix well with a whisk. Add the rest of the milk and whisk again.
- Put the batter in a jug and leave it in the fridge for a bit if possible (1/2 hour minimum, 2 days maximum) but if you are in a hurry and can't wait then don't worry too much, they will still work.
- Heat a teaspoon of cooking oil in a frying pan and when it is really piping hot pour in enough batter to just cover the base of the pan. It should sizzle straight away. You have to swirl the pan with one hand as your pour with the other. You want them thin, just a couple of millimetres of mix.
- Somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute, lift the edge of the pancake with a spatula and peek at the underneath. If it's brown then your pancake is ready to toss.
- Give it a shake to make sure it's loose then hold it a little away from your body with your elbow slightly bent and flick the pan up slightly so the pancake flips over. (then pick the pancake up off the floor or unfold it in the pan, call that one practice and try again!)
- It will only need another 30 seconds to 1 minute to brown the other side and it's ready to slide onto a plate and start again with the next one
- You need to add the teaspoon of oil for each pancake, give a few seconds to get hot then pour, swirl etc as before.
Here are a few hints that you might find helpful whilst we are on the subject.
- Get 2 pans on the go, each pancake may only take a few minutes but when you are making a heap you really do what 2 pans, unsurprisingly it then takes half the time! If you have enough space, frying pans and people helping have more than 2!
- Put your jug on a small plate so the worktop doesn't get in a mess
- You want your pan really hot before you start, but even then the first pancake will take WAY longer than the rest. You only need to adjust the heat if they start to burn. My hob is gas and I generally have it on about 3/4 of the way
- As they are ready pile the pancakes up on a plate. You don't need to put greaseproof paper between the layers, you don't need to keep them in the oven. With 2 pans going you have another pancake ready every 60 seconds or so - they keep each other hot
- Serve them as soon as the last one slides out of the pan, you can warm them up but they are nicer when fresh
- Count them before you start so you know how many there are each!
If you want to have your Shrove Tuesday pancake the proper traditional way pop your pancake on your plate, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar (granulated or caster is fine) evenly over and then add a good splash of lemon juice. We use the ready to go stuff in a bottle. Roll it up then eat with your fingers or cut up with a knife and use a fork. Make sure you hold it and your mouth over the plate as it WILL drip - it's supposed to!
I found a few photos I'd shared on facebook of Pancake days gone by, taken on my phone.