Life in Bitesize

Posts Tagged ‘pancake day

Tomorrow is Pancake Day. I love Pancake Day (or to you hardcore out there, Shrove Tuesday). It’s one of the few days of the year when we can really stuff ourselves silly and not feel guilty about (Jesus wants you to eat!). Anyways, so I did some research on Pancake Day and, yes, we all know it’s cos we have to use up all the ingredient before Lent starts the next day, but did you know that the word ‘Shrove’ comes from the old English word ‘shrive’, which means to confess ones sins. No, thought not, so you’ve learnt something new. 🙂

Another Pancake Day tradition is pancake races. It’s supposed to have started when a woman was making pancakes and forgot the time. She heard church bells ringing to signal the start of the service and in her haste, ran out of her house to church still holding her frying pan. So today,pancake races are held across the country in villages and towns. Participants have to run the course of the race whilst tossing a pancake, with the winner crossing the line first. Living in a traditional village, I love these community  events – they always remind me of those cheesy team building days when companies attempt to get their employees to bond with each other.

Anyway, if you don’t fancy running around with your pancakes, you could just eat them at home like I plan to do. Here’s a simple, classic recipe from the lovely Delia Smith:

Traditional Lemon & Sugar Pancake Recipe

Makes: 12-14 pancakes

Preparation time: 30 mins

For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter

To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.