Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is a day in February or March preceding the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, celebrated in many countries by the eating of pancakes. Also known as ‘Mardi Gras’ meaning Fat Tuesday.
It was traditionally the day for eating up rich foods, such as milk, eggs and sugar before fasting for Lent began. Different countries have their own way of celebrating this day. Pancake races take place across the country and we all like to make pancakes, attempt to toss them and hope they land back in the frying pan and not on the floor or on the ceiling!
We’ve all got our favourite fillings. In my family, we like lemon and sugar – that’s my favourite, and my sons like just honey and the other popular choice of filling is chocolate spread with chopped banana. Of course you can have any topping you like and you could even make some savoury pancakes and fill them with meat, vegetables and a cheese sauce to make them extra creamy and delicious.
My Mum gave me a Be-Ro book when I left home a few years ago (quite a few) and it was my go to book for staple recipes such as pastry, scones, crumble mix, butter cream and batter. That was before cook books by Delia Smith, Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver, James Martin and many other chefs pushed this little book right to the back of the shelves. I still use the batter mix recipe, but I add an extra tablespoon of plain flour as I find it makes a better pancake. Here’s the recipe.
Pancake Batter – What you need:
100g plain flour plus one heaped tablespoon
1 large egg
What to do:
Mix the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and drop in the egg.
Using a hand whisk, stir whilst gradually adding some of the milk until all the flour is mixed in, then whisk in the remaining milk. You can leave this mixture on the side until you are ready to use it, just give it a little whisk. I like to pour it into a measuring jug which makes it easier for pouring into your frying pan.
Heat a skillet pan, or non-stick frying pan and add a little oil. When it begins to smoke, add a little batter and tilt the pan so it spreads evenly.
When it’s golden brown underneath, turn it over. If you are brave enough, make sure it’s loose all the way round and give it a toss!
Eat them straight away with your favourite topping or stack them up on a plate and warm them up in the oven so that you can all tuck in and enjoy them with your favourite toppings. What’s yours?