How To Make English Pancakes - a Simple Recipe
Today is Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, in the UK - and people will be making pancakes for tea! When I was growing up pancakes were always THE meal, not in addition to the meal. We used to simply have sugar on them - I know others have lemon and more pancake toppings, but for us it was always just plain sugar.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent - the religious significance of this is that you were supposed to give up things for Lent, so pancakes were traditionally a way to use up any milk, butter and eggs which you'd be giving up during Lent. Now it's just another foodfest day
Making pancakes is easy - the English pancakes are thin, like French crepes, and moist. English pancakes not fat like American breakfast pancakes at all. They're made with
While it's nice to have about 6 pancakes, really 2-3 is a one person portion. This recipe will make 6 pancakes, just in case you're up for it. Pancakes are made in a frying pan (skillet), one at a time, they aren't made on a griddle as you don't get that perfect round. Measurements aren't precise, most people don't measure it out, they simply get about the right amount of flour, chuck in 1-2 eggs, then start adding milk until it looks right.
- 4 oz plain flour (that's what Americans call all purpose flour)
- 1 large egg, or 2 small eggs
- Half a pint of milk, not an exact amount
- Oil/butter for frying
- Put the flour in a bowl, with the eggs and mix together, then add most of the milk and whisk.
- Whisk out all the lumps, scraping round the edges of the bowl.
- Add more milk until the consistency is right. The batter needs to be a little thinner than if you were battering fish, or making a Yorkshire pudding, but not too thin. You can always try the batter by frying a small bit of the mixture. Some purists will tell you to rest the mix in the fridge for 1-2 hours now, we never did.
- Once you're ready, heat up oil/butter in a pan (just so the pan's coated), pour in a thin layer of the batter and move the pan round so the base is covered. Cook on a medium heat, peeking underneath until it's brown.
- When the bottom's brown, turn the pancake over (you can try tossing it if you're brave).
- Once the second side's cooked, slide it off onto a plate, sprinkle sugar on the pancake, then flip the two sides over. Sprinkle more sugar on top and scoff as quickly as you can.
Serve each one immediately it's been cooked for the best taste. You don't stack them up and keep them warm, there's nothing better than eating a fresh pancake straight out of the pan.
Most people will say that the first pancake's for the dog as the first one can sometimes not turn out that great, maybe the pan's not hot enough, or the oil, or maybe there's too much oil for the first one ... but you can expect the first one to often fail. After that you're on a roll!
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