Happy Pancake Day! Today is Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday, the day we get to use up all the bad things in our cupboards and really make the most of it before lent. Dependening on where you are, you might also be celebrating Mardi Gras, and there are a whole host of other carnival activities taking place all over the world. I got a head start yesterday with my Polish pancakes. Today I’m making both savoury and sweet pancakes for tea. Tomorrow, I get to do it all again as my sister is coming to visit and my niece requested pancakes, too. So my Lenten penitence will begin on Thursday!
My posh Polish pancakes for a final Food Styling project at Leiths School of Food and Wine.
How to Make Pancakes
A really simple pancake mix is 100g plain flour, 2 whole eggs and 300ml semi-skimmed milk. Optional extras – a pinch of salt for savoury pancakes. A pinch of sugar for sweet pancakes. A little lemon zest or cinnamon for an extra flavour hit. The trick is to make up your batter well in advance and leave it in the fridge. When you are ready to start flipping, take some melted butter and/or a plain vegetable oil (you can use a combination of both) and swirl it round your (preferably non-stick) pan. Then, take a piece of kitchen roll and wipe away any excess, so you are just left with a little layer of oil in your pan. Heat the pan until it gets quite hot, take a ladle and pour some of the batter mixture on, about half a cupful. Swirl it round the pan, leave it to set and cook and then when it starts to come away from the edge of the pan and look a little crispy – flip it over! Cook on the other side for another minute or two and then transfer onto a warm plate while you make the rest. Repeat the same process with a little melted butter and oil each time, wiping away any excess with kitchen roll.
If you eat pancakes often, you can also make a big make-ahead batch of this mix, by Vanessa Kimbell. Then store the dry mix in the cupboard for future use.
Banana Chocolate Pancakes – Oh, go on, then!
A little while ago, I devised a recipe for some savoury pancakes for a Dutch pancake company called Abra-Ca-Debora. Happily, they liked my recipe so much that they made it themselves to share on their website. Pop over to see my recipe for Creamy Chicken and Spinach Savoury Dutch Pancakes here.
Other savoury ideas – I love filling my pancakes with a mixture of wild mushrooms, garlic and cream. Simply chop one shallot or small onion along with one garlic clove. Gently cook in a pan with a teaspoon of butter and olive oil, add some mixed mushrooms, around 125g, and cook for a few minutes before adding a squeeze of lemon juice, some fresh parsley and a swirl of double cream.
The children love really simple fillings, such a Nutella, lemon curd, strawberry jam or bananas and chocolate sauce with a scoop of ice cream on top. Or, you could try my Warm Banana and Maple Syrup Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream. My three year old has just requested Spaghetti Hoops and Nutella – that could be interesting!
In case you missed them, here are my Polish Pancakes with Sweet Cream Cheese, topped with fresh strawberries.
Further afield, I’ve spotted these stunning pancakes from Emma at Poires Au Chocolat – Pancakes with Lemon & Thyme Sugar - a really lovely twist on a classic.
Photo Credit – With Permission Emma Gardner Poires Au Chocolat
Or, you could try this amazing German speciality called Quarkkeulchen by Meeta at What’s For Lunch, Honey (who I am hugely excited to be meeting this weekend!) Meeta serves her Quarkkeulchen with Cranberries and a Cinnamon Blueberry Compote – the fruit compote sounds delicious in itself and I would be so intrigued to try these pancakes made with mashed potatoes, Quark cream cheese and cinnamon.
Photo Credit – With Permission Meeta K Wolff, What’s For Lunch, Honey?
Sarah, at Maison Cupcake has also blogged 13 Fabulous Pancake Ideas for Baby Centre - including my savoury pancakes – thank you Sarah!
And finally, if you are celebrating Mardi Gras, I love these really beautiful King Cake Cookies with with Praline Pecan from Bakes Bree - I am off to find some blue sprinkles as they are gorgeous.
So, wherever you are, whatever you are eating and/or celebrating – enjoy!!