Pancakes are deep in the British DNA, up there with Easter eggs and Christmas pudding. Come Shrove Tuesday, we laugh in the face of clean eating, glorying in sugar, wheat, gluten and dairy.
Of course it’s not just us. Every nation has its personal batter bliss, whether it is paper-thin French crêpes or showy American towers of blueberry pancakes.
But unlike other countries, we barely touch them for the rest of the year, preferring a proper blowout on Shrove Tuesday. Appropriate, given that day was always intended to be a last blast before the start of Lent.
So in honour of this glorious day, we are sharing our pancake recipe and our top toppings!
Your basic ingredients
For any good pancake, you need to start with the basics. This recipe will serve four, so just double it if you’ve got more mouths to feed (or you’re really hungry).
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 350-400ml/12-14fl oz milk, or for a thinner, lighter pancake you can use half milk and half water
- 2 large eggs to be lightly whisked
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- A pinch of salt
You’ll also need vegetable oil to lightly drizzle in the pan if they’re not non-stick.
– Put the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and eggs.
– Whisk the mixture for a minute before incorporating the flour.
– Continue to whisk until you have a smooth batter.
– Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and whisk thoroughly.
– Drizzle a dash of oil into your pan and swirl it round – or using some kitchen roll, carefully wipe the inside of the pan until it has a thin layer.
– Heat the pan over a medium setting for one minute.
Now it’s time to make your pancake!
– Add your batter to the pan (just under a ladle full is the perfect amount) and immediately start tilting the pan until you have an even layer.
– Cook the pancake for approximately 30-40 seconds and when it is ready use a palette knife to lift the pancake carefully.
– If the underside is golden-brown turn it over or toss it, if you’re feeling brave – just be careful when you’re doing this that you don’t burn yourself.
Add your toppings
Can’t decide what to have this year? We’ve rounded up a few options as inspiration. Take your pick from the below or mix and match.
1. Lemon and sugar
You can’t go wrong with this classic combination – sweet sugar and tart lemon makes your tastebuds happy.
2. Goat’s cheese and rosemary
Give the classic pancake a posh makeover with this fancy yet tasty veggie filling.
3. Chocolate spread and strawberries
Another winning combination. Add a dollop of Nutella – or any brand of chocolate spread you like – which will begin to melt deliciously. Finish with chopped strawberries and you’re done!
4. Bacon and maple syrup
Sounds a bit odd, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! This sweet/savoury combo is a treat for the tastebuds – even if it’s not one for the waistline.
5. Ice cream and peaches
For a baked alaska style dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the middle of your pancake and top with tinned peaches (in juice or syrup, drained).
6. Ham and cheese
Are you more of a savoury person? Try this traditional combination for something a little more substantial. Top with finely chopped spring onions to make it even more delightful.
7. Honey, yogurt and blueberries
For the more health-conscious among you, this delicious mix is a lovely treat. Add some chopped nuts to finish.
Keeping it simple – spread some jam on your pancake and roll it up to make a ‘jam roly poly’. The best thing about this is you can pick your favourite flavour.
9. Peanut butter and banana
A pancake that would make Elvis proud. Spread a bit of peanut butter and top with chopped banana. Add a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an extra treat.
10. Sausages, scrambled egg and mushrooms
A breakfast on a breakfast?! Why not top your pancake with a traditional English brekkie for a real treat this Tuesday. Don’t forget the brown sauce.