Pancake day is TOMORROW.
This is real people.
This is not a drill!
Emergency pancake recipes and tips coming up, but first lets brush up on our pancake day history….
Pancake day, also called Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday is the day before the beginning of lent. For those of us brought up in delightfully athiest households, the only meaning it holds is the eating of many delicious pancakes. For those brought up in Christian households, it presumably still involves lots of pancakes, but there’s a deeper meaning – its the last day before the fast of Lent, which symbolises Jesus’ forty days in the desert. As a result, many people give something up for Lent, often chocolate, sometimes meat, alcohol or something else that they enjoy. In the olden days (pre 1978 in my opinion), people still stuck to a more rigid rule book of what they had to give up to lent – so all flour, eggs and sugar was out. And to use them all up before Lent started, people made pancakes! In the UK, there are lots of fun traditions to go along with pancake day too, like pancake races! Can anyone remember doing these at school? Sadly the pancakes were never edible afterwards…
Interestingly, the fasting for Lent/bingeing post Lent thing became entangled with old pagan customs celebrating the spring equinox (which the church later re-invented with the casting of Easter and the egg as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection) and we ended up with EASTER EGGS. The whole thing has now snowballed into the Malteaster/Aero lamb/3 trillion variations of Cadbury Easter eggs in the shops between December 26th and Easter situation…
Not that I’m complaining (Egg shaped chocolate just tastes that extra bit delightful doesn’t it) but isn’t it funny how pretty much all the major holidays are now under the control of CHOCOLATE?
Anyhoo….lets talk about how to make pancakes! The basic pancake batter recipe is simplicity itself. And amazingly, its also the same recipe to make Yorkshire Puddings. Are you a little bit freaked out right now?
I would say there are three stages to making pancakes –
- The recipe – pretty easy – see below
- Making/flipping – can be terrifying – see below
- The eating – makes up for stage 2
Here’s the recipe for thin British style pancakes – if you’re more interested in American style look here! Personally I will be enjoying both kinds this pancake day. This is Delia’s recipe so you know its cast iron.
- 110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
- 50g/2oz butter
Simply sift the flour into a bowl, add the eggs in a well in the middle and start to whisk. Slowly add the milk/water to the bowl. You’ll need the butter for the pan. Use a cup measure or ladle to spoon the batter into the pan – about 2 tbsp is enough to coat an average size one. As soon as the batter hits, swirl it around so that it coats the bottom of the entire pan. Resist the urge to panic. In under 60 seconds it will be cooked. Time for the flip! Argh! Use a spatula if you’re prone to the vapours, or you COULD attempt the pancake toss.
PHEW! Time for stage 3, eating!
May I recommend that you purchase a jar of this?
Plus some of these?
Whereas if you’re going USA style you’ll definitely need some of these –
and definitely a big bottle of this –
However you eat your pancakes, enjoy!