Today is Shrove Tuesday; it’s the day before Lent starts (which is on Ash Wednesday). Another name for this day is ‘Pancake Day’. The name comes from the custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast during Lent. In days gone by, for most people, these ingredients were often eggs and milk. A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes!
My favourite tried and tested pancake recipe is pretty quick and simple, it requires no ‘resting’ and it comes from my old friend Delia Smith. Click here to be taken to the recipe on her website, or on continue reading, below, for a copy of the recipe.
When I was growing up (a process that is still largely incomplete….), there were two main toppings for pancakes:
• lemon juice and caster sugar, or
• golden syrup.
A more swish alternative was to make crepe suzette – a boozy orange liqueur recipe. Click here for Delia’s version.
These days there are so many cooking programmes on TV and so many different ingredients available to us, from all over the world, and I was wondering if anyone had any unusual or favourite pancake recipes, or toppings that they would like to share…..?
On a slightly different note…. Obviously Ashbourne is famous for the Shovetide football. But… did you know that in Scarborough Shrove Tuesday has been known as Skipping Day for around 100 years? The foreshore road on the south bay is closed and everyone heads over to the beach to participate in ‘long-rope’ skipping! (I kid you not and, to demonstrate, here is a photograph from 2015, courtesy of the scarborough.co.uk website!) There were also sand castle competitions and pancake races on the beach…..
Again, I was wondering…… are Ashbourne and Scarborough unique, or does anyone know of any other unusual customs in other parts of the country?
Pancake Recipe – Makes 12-14
4 oz / 110 g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
2 large eggs
7 fl oz / 200 ml milk mixed with 3 fl oz / 75 ml water
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for cooking the pancakes.
1. Sieve flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.
3. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
4. Gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
5. When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.
6. When you are ready to make the pancakes, melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 table spoons of it into the batter and whisk it in. Keep the rest into a bowl and use it to oil the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.
7. 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. 2 tablespoons is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go.
8. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
9. Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.
Excluding any toppings, each pancake provides 88 kcal, 7.5g carbohydrates (of which 0.9g sugars), 5g fat (of which 2g saturates), 0.4g fibre and 0.2g salt.