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Deliciously simple pancake recipes for Shrove Tuesday

By Weekend  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Delicious pancakes are a must for Shrove Tuesday

Delicious pancakes are a must for Shrove Tuesday

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The simple combination of plain flour, milk and eggs can lead to sheer magic in the kitchen, yet a new study says many of us will be shunning pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Diana Pilkington reports

It's a tradition that dates back centuries, but it seems the custom of whipping up a batch of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday has fallen rather flat.

According to research by Lyle's Golden Syrup, just half of Britons will be getting out the frying pans for this year's festivities - a drop of 25% compared with 10 years ago.

And a quarter of those surveyed were clueless about how to make a simple pancake batter from scratch.

The reasons given ranged from 'can't be bothered' to fretting that the dish takes 'too much time and effort'.

Of course, the word 'pancake' can refer to a variety of creations from around the world - whether it's the thin English kind traditionally served with lemon and sugar, a stack of fluffy American ones topped with blueberries or maple syrup, or a lacy French crepe smothered in chocolate hazelnut spread.

And when it comes to toppings, pretty much anything goes, so there are few excuses not to give those flipping skills a whirl!

Try these tips from British Lion Eggs for making the perfect pancake...

  • You need a good non-stick, preferably heavy, pan and to cook the pancakes properly, it needs to be hot. The first pancake rarely works and can look very untidy but tastes good. This is known as the cook's treat.
  • If you are not confident at tossing the pancakes, just use a spatula to turn them over.
  • Some say leaving the batter to rest before use improves it - if you have time, brilliant, but it's not essential.
  • If there happen to be any leftover pancakes, leave covered in the fridge and just heat gently for a few seconds in a hot pan before serving.

Tired of lemon and sugar? Here are some recipes celebrating regional ingredients and pancake varieties from around the UK...

LANCASHIRE CHEESE AND BACON PANCAKES

(Serves 4)

75g plain flour

A pinch of salt

2 large British Lion eggs

150ml milk

A little oil for frying

For the filling:

50g Lancashire cheese, grated

6 rashers of smoked back bacon

100ml half fat soured cream

2tbsp chives, snipped

First make the pancakes: Place the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl with half the milk. Whisk until the mixture is lump-free. Add the remaining milk and whisk again until smooth. If you prefer, place all the ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the batter into a jug. The batter can be made in advance and chilled for up to 8 hours before use.

Heat a 20cm diameter non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe it around with a piece of kitchen paper. Now pour a little of the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly over the base. Cook for 2 minutes or until the top is set and the base golden. Turn the pancake over with a spatula or, if you are feeling brave, flip the pancake.

Cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the base is golden. Transfer to a plate and interleave with greaseproof paper then keep warm. Use the batter and a little more oil to make a further 7 pancakes in the same way.

For the filling: grill the bacon for about 8 minutes, turning once until it's crisp on both sides. Snip into thin pieces.

Take four pancakes and divide the bacon pieces between them, along the centre of each, with the soured cream and chives and half the cheese. Roll them up and place in a heatproof dish. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top and pop under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve hot, scattered with chives if liked. Eat the remaining pancakes simply with caster sugar and lemon.

YORKSHIRE RHUBARB PANCAKES

(Serves 4)

75g plain flour

A pinch of salt

2 large British Lion eggs

150ml milk

A little oil for frying

For the filling:

500g pink rhubarb

75g caster sugar

Vanilla ice cream, to serve

First make the filling: Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Trim the rhubarb then cut it into 5cm-long pieces. Place in an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Cover with foil then bake for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Leave to cool slightly.

Next make the pancakes: Place the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl with half the milk. Whisk until the mixture is lump-free. Add the remaining milk and whisk again until smooth. If you prefer, place all the ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth, pour the batter into a jug. The batter can be made in advance and chilled for up to 8 hours before use.

Heat a 20cm diameter non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe it around with a piece of kitchen paper. Now pour a little of the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly over the base. Cook for 2 minutes or until the top is set and the base golden. Turn the pancake over with a spatula or if you are feeling brave, flip the pancake.

Cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the base is golden. Transfer to a plate and interleave with greaseproof paper, keep warm. Use the batter and a little more oil to make a further seven pancakes in the same way.

Divide the warm rhubarb between the pancakes and serve with vanilla ice cream.

CREMPOG (WELSH PANCAKES)

(Makes 10)

250g plain flour

50g caster sugar

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of salt

2 large British Lion eggs

284ml buttermilk

1tbsp lemon juice

75g raisins

Caster sugar, to serve

Sift the flour, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Beat together the buttermilk, eggs and then add to the dry ingredients with the lemon juice. Leave the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.

Heat a flat griddle or frying pan, brush the surface with a little oil, then drop tablespoons of the mixture, well apart, onto the griddle pan - about three can be cooked at a time. Sprinkle a few raisins in the centre of each pancake. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles begin to form on the surface, and the base is golden.

Flip over and cook for a further few minutes until the base is golden. Remove from the pan and keep warm in a clean tea towel. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 10 pancakes in total. Serve warm with a sprinkling of caster sugar.

SCOTCH PANCAKES FLAVOURED WITH HEATHER HONEY

(Makes 24)

225g plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

½tsp baking powder

2 large British Lion eggs

75ml milk

1tbsp lemon juice

4tbsp heather honey

A little oil for greasing

For a quick raspberry jam topping:

300g frozen Scottish raspberries

120g caster sugar

Juice of half a lemon

2tsp ground arrowroot

To make the pancakes: sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the ingredients. Beat together the eggs, milk, lemon juice and honey, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Gently fold together with a large metal spoon until a smooth thick batter forms.

Brush a flat griddle pan or frying pan with a little oil and, when hot, add two or three spoonfuls of the mixture, well apart in the pan. Cook for a few minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden. Flip over and cook for a further couple of minutes until the base is golden. Keep warm in a clean tea towel while you use the batter to make a total of 24 pancakes in the same way.

For the raspberry jam, place the raspberries and caster sugar in a medium pan along with the lemon juice. Slowly bring to the boil, and then boil for 2 minutes until the juices have run. Mix the arrowroot to a smooth paste with a little cold water, add to the raspberries and bring to the boil, stirring until the juices have thickened slightly. Leave to cool. Once made this quick jam can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Serve two or three pancakes per person with the raspberry jam spooned over.

NORTHERN IRISH BOXTY PANCAKES

(Serves 14)

450g potatoes, peeled

4 spring onions, finely sliced

100g plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 large British Lion egg, separated

100ml buttermilk or natural yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

A little oil for frying

A fried British Lion egg, grilled bacon and tomatoes, to serve

Cut the potatoes into even chunks, then cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain well, return to the pan then mash until smooth.

Stir in the spring onions and leave to cool - spreading thinly on a plate makes this happen more quickly. Place the mash in a large bowl, sift over the flour and bicarbonate of soda then add the egg yolk and buttermilk and beat well, adding plenty of salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg white in a separate clean bowl, until it forms stiff peaks, then fold into the potato mixture.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. Drop 3-4 spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 8 minutes, turning once until golden - don't cook over too high a heat or the outside will be golden before the centre is ready. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat to make about 16 pancakes in total.

Serve hot with a fried egg, grilled bacon and tomato.

Get ahead: If you like, make the pancakes ahead and place them on a baking tray. Reheat at Fan 180°C/200°C/Gas Mark 6 for about 10 minutes before serving.

For more recipes, visit www.eggrecipes.co.uk

 

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