I actually cannot flip pancakes.
To be honest though, I haven’t ever really tried. I feel next year I might have to give it a go and hope it doesn’t end up on the floor!
As far as I am aware, Pancake Day was originally a Pagan celebration which then turned into a religious tradition (just like most of the holidays). Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), is the day before the 40 day fasting period known as Lent. On this day people would eat all of the rich foods left in their house. Different countries celebrate this tradition in different ways, some by having carnivals and others by eating certain dishes.
In England we eat pancakes.
Not the thick American style pancakes, but French style crepes.
It literally has no bearing on whether you are undertaking some kind of ‘fast’ or not, we just eat pancakes. I’m pretty sure if you asked people why we eat pancakes on this day, they probably wouldn’t be sure. Pancake Day is just all about the pancakes. Since we were very young, we have always had pancakes for dinner on that day. Nothing else, just pancakes. As a child, this was one of the best things ever. Ok, it still is.
I have now brought this tradition to Peru, and so yesterday we set about making a pile of pancakes for our lunch!
So simple, yet so tasty.
You use 4 ingredients and so really you have no excuse not to make these.
I even bought an awesome new pancake pan from Wong. It says ‘CREPES’ on the back and I had to have it!
So here we go, my Mum’s amazing pancake/crepe recipe. (No idea where it came from, but it works a treat!)
Pancake Day Pancakes
// INGREDIENTS //
Makes between 6-8 large crepes
// 110g plain flour //
// 2 eggs (not too small) //
// 200ml full fat milk, mixed with 75ml water //
// pinch of salt // not as much as in the photo, that was for illustrative purposes!
// butter to coat the pan //
// Toppings!!! (I will cover this after the recipe!) //
// DIRECTIONS //
First thing is first. When you are making a lot of pancakes you need to make sure that you have somewhere to keep them warm. The best way to do this is to boil a saucepan of water and turn it off just before you start to make the pancakes. Put a large plate over the top of the pan to get warm, and then cut a square of aluminium foil big enough to cover the plate. You can leave the foil to one side, you won’t use this until the first pancake arrives!
Put the milk and water in a bowl, or keep it in the jug you measured it in if it is big enough. Add the eggs and a pinch of salt, and then sieve the flour.
Sieving is important because it gets rid of any large clumps of flour, and no one likes a lumpy pancake.
Whisk until all lumps are gone.
Heat your pan and add a small knob of butter just to coat the pan a little. I put slightly too much in mine so the first pancake was a little buttery!
Pour, or ladle, the pancake mixture onto the hot pan. Use as little mixture as is possible and then tilt the pan to spread the mixture across the whole surface. You want the layer of batter to be very thin.
The pancake will cook quickly, so keep an eye on it. Turn up the edge of the pancake with a spatula to check the underneath. If it has little spots of a pale brown colour, you can turn it.
Now, either flip the pancake or turn with the spatula. Then cook the other side until it looks the same.
Remove from the pan and add to the plate over the hot water. Place the foil over the top of the plate. This will now act as a little heat pocket for the pancake, keeping it toasty warm!
Your first pancake will always be terrible; it is the law of pancake making. Just make it small one so you don’t use up too much mixture!
Repeat the steps again until all of your mixture is used up. Depending on the size of the pan you can get about 6-8 dinner plate sized pancakes from this recipe.
Go crazy, make loads!
Once you have finished use a tea towel or oven gloves and remove the plate of pancakes (still covered by foil) from the pan and place on the table. Grab your choice of toppings, sweet and savoury, and get stuck in!
// TOPPINGS //
Ah, toppings….. so many choices.
You can literally use whatever you like to make your pancake great. Ice cream, chocolate, cheese, fruit, ham, peanut butter…..the list goes on.
Yesterday I made a trio of pancakes which I will share with you now, and hopefully give you some inspiration!
// THE CLASSIC //
LEMON & SUGAR
Also known as the boring pancake. However, this is the classic recipe taught to us by Blue Peter and our schools since time began. I actually used limón, as lemon is not easy to get here, and it was pretty amazing. It tasted like a lemon sherbet, so maybe try lime instead of lemon in your pancakes!
// THE KING //
NUTELLA & BANANA
This is like the royalty of all of the pancakes. I cannot stress enough how vital it is to have this pancake on Pancake Day. You really haven’t lived if you have never tried this combination.
// THE SWEET & SOUR //
Sauco is a Peruvian speciality and so I had to add this to my list of toppings. Sauco is a Peruvian fruit that comes from the elder plant native to Peru, therefore it would be extremely similar to what we would call an elderberry. I would say that your best alternative, if you can’t get sauco jam, would be a blackcurrant jam. The sauco berry is quite tangy, like a blackcurrant, and when it is made into a jam it becomes this mixture of sweet and sour flavours, lending itself perfectly to a pancake filling. Much like the lemon and sugar, the sweet and sour balance each other out making for a very tasty pancake!
I think any kind of jam can work well, and is great for the little kiddies!
Other combinations that are super tasty are: manjar blanco (a dulce de leche/caramel sauce), bacon & maple syrup (another royal combination of flavours), and chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce (indulgent but worth it!).
Enjoy your pancakes, and let me know how you get on. Tag pics of your delicious mountains of pancakes on Instagram with #asliceofpancakes so I can take a look!