Recipe by French Tart
This is my family's old recipe for traditional English pancakes - served the way we like them in the Britain - with a squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkled with sugar! Please note, that these are NOT thick pancakes, but thin and lacey - more like a French crepe. Scotch pancakes and Welsh cakes are also different - they are thicker, and belong to the family of griddle cakes, and drop scones. These are what we will be making and eating on Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day! The only accompaniment that is needed, is a fresh lemon or two and caster sugar.........some people have jam , honey or syrup with their pancakes, although that is not traditional! Now - how to TOSS that pancake without it landing on the floor, and will I WIN the Pancake race this year??!! A little information about this great British tradition: Origins - Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent - the 40 days leading up to Easter - was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday Christians went to confession and were "shriven" (absolved from their sins). It was the last opportunity to use eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients. Pancake Tradition - A thin, flat cake, made of batter and baked on a griddle or fried in a pan, the pancake has a very long history and featured in cookbooks as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old: "And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne." (Pasquil's Palin, 1619). Tossing pancakes - Certainly these days part of the fun of cooking pancakes is in the tossing. To toss a pancake successfully takes a combination of the perfect pancake and good technique - it's so easy to get it wrong and end up with half the pancake still stuck to the pan while the other half is stuck to the ceiling or floor. All in all, it's probably best to practise a few times without an audience. Pancake races - In the UK, pancake races also form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations - an opportunity for large numbers of people to race down the streets tossing pancakes. Mardi Gras - The French name (literally "fat Tuesday" ) for Shrove Tuesday has been given to a number of Mardi Gras carnivals around the world. Among the most famous are those of Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans
Top Review by Mel...
Awww! These are just like the pancakes my Dad (born and raised in Northern Ireland) used to make for my sisters and I. We used to called them Crep Sussette. Thanks for the memory!
- 110 g plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 275 ml 1% low-fat milk
- 2 ounces butter
- 1 -2 fresh lemon
- caster sugar, for sprinkling
Directions See How It's Made
- You will also need a good solid 7 inch (18 cm) or 8 inch (20 cm) frying pan, some kitchen paper, greaseproof paper, a palette knife or flexible pan slice, and a ladle.
- Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre with the back of a spoon then break in the eggs and pour in half the milk. Whisk together, gradually incorporating the flour to make a smooth thick batter. Beat thoroughly to remove any lumps, then stir in the rest of the milk.
- Pour the pancake batter into a jug or a bowl with a pouring lip.
- 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 tablespoons about right for a 7 inch (18 cm) pan and 3 tablespoons for an 8 inch (20 cm) pan.) Pancakes should always be cooked in butter.
- Melt 2 oz of butter in a pan, pour the excess in to a bowl; then add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the batter and whisk it inches.
- Pour the batter into the pan, tilting the pan as you pour, until the batter thinly coats the base. Cook over a moderate heat for 30 seconds to one minute until golden brown on the underside.
- Flip over the pancake with a palette knife, and cook the other side until it is golden brown. Slide the pancake out of the pan on to a plate, heat a little more oil or butter and cook the remaining pancakes one at a time in the same way.
- If preparing in advance, cook and stack the pancakes. Reheat in the microwave on Medium (750W) for about 2 minutes. Alternatively, heat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160°C Wrap the pancakes in foil and warm them through in the oven for 10 minutes.
- TO SERVE.
- 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 into long tubes. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra wedges of lemon.
- To FREEZE.
- Pancakes freeze VERY well, stacked as above then placed in freezer bags. If frozen, it's best to defrost the pancakes before reheating.