Today is ‘pancake day’.
Wait a second what does that mean?
Well ecclesiastically we are entering the season of Lent where traditionally in the Christian calendar people fasted or gave up rich foods, such as cream and eggs, or meat most frequently on a Friday but for some throughout the season.
With that in mind how do you make pancakes?
Well it’s actually very easy but a little practice makes perfect.
For North-American (sweet & fluffy) pancakes you need:
- 1 cup (284 ml) self-raising flour
- 1 cup (284 ml) of milk (full fat is nice but if you’re lactose intolerant water will work but you might need a bit more egg to help bind it).
- 1 egg
- A table spoon of sugar (Soft Brown sugars are especially nice here but anything works this helps the pancake to caramelise slightly).
- Some Cinnamon and/or Vanilla (Personally I’d only use one or the other here).
- Baking powder (especially if the flour isn’t self-raising/or isn’t that fresh)-(or you want to make them extra fluffy).
- Cut fruit banana is a favourite of mine berries are also very nice but I’ve known people use chocolate chips here as well.
To make the batter: mix the egg, flour, milk, sugar, flavouring & baking powder together.
Fry on a medium high heat in lots of butter (the secret ingredient)-(margarine or oil will work here but may produce a slightly greasy pancake that you may wish to place on/pat with a piece of kitchen paper briefly before eating).
Pour about 100 ml or a third of a cup of your batter into the hot pan.
Add the slices of fruit etc.
When the bubbles on top are popping and leaving a little hole in the upper surface flip the pancake over. Unless you have lots of practice use a spatula or fish slice, flipping pancakes with a twitch of the wrist is a skill that requires work to master… and is only really good for showing off.
Serve with maple syrup, (golden syrup or honey work nearly as well) alternately jam and whipped cream.
For British savoury pancakes substitute water for milk and plain flour for self-raising (and don’t add the baking powder). The pancake will also cook more quickly and can be served rolled with a variety of fillings. Ham & leek is a personal favourite and nice both with and without cheese, but experiment as lots of things work very well. You can substitute sour cream for the whipped variety as well. Be careful not to overfill them, especially if you plan to try and eat them like a burrito.