Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day

Today is Shrove Tuesday, pancake day !

In England, the last three days before Lent are known as Shrovetide. Shrovetide, which is always a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, used to be celebrated with games, sports, dancing and other revelries. There were feasts to use up the food that could not be eaten during the Lenten fast. On Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, all fats and cream had to be used up. Traditionally a way of using up rich foods in the larder before the beginning of Lent, the custom of eating pancakes on that day goes back to before Elizabethan times. There was a tradition of ringing a pancake bell which was the signal for everyone to stop work and join in the festivities of pancake day, which included pancake races where participants ran along tossing a pancake in the air as they went, a custom still observed in some places to this day.

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
30g unsalted butter, melted, plus more for frying
150g plain flour
325ml milk
1 egg

Makes 6 x 20cm pancakes – you’ll probably want to double this!

Melt the butter and then put to one side to cool a little. Put the flour, milk and egg into a blender or a large bowl and whiz or whisk.

Heat the pan (not too high otherwise you will smoke out the kitchen) – a proper crepe pan is of course perfect but a shallow frying pan will do fine. Melt a tiny bit of butter and then wipe the pan – this is to “season “it. This is worth doing otherwise the first pancake is always a disaster!

Ladle in enough batter to coat the pan. Leave for only about one minute and then turn with a wide spatula; flipping needs firm confidence but have a go!

Continue until all the batter is used, melting a little butter into the pan in between each pancake. Pile the cooked pancakes onto a plate and serve with whatever takes your fancy.

Serving suggestions:
Sugar and lemon
Melted chocolate or chocolate spread and banana
Greek yogurt and fruit coulis
Apple puree and toasted almonds…..
Flambé Grand Marnier….but not for the kids!

Yum, yum….enjoy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet the picture is NOT from one of YOUR pancakes!