Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Shrove Tuesday means Pancakes!

I adore pancakes! One of my early memories is of the whole family attempting to flip pancakes. To be accurate we did the 'Two cook, two eat and swap' method. As a family who always sat down to eat together the thrill of cooking and eating on the hoof was hard to beat. What is best? The fun of flipping or the joy of scoffing?

Today being Pancake day my Matey and I got cracking.....eggs. (Sorry. Terrible joke. I hesitate to call it a joke......)

I stand by Mrs. Beeton for a basic mix.

200g Plain Flour
2 eggs - The more egg yolks you put in the richer the batter. I find that pancakes are so rich anyway it's a bit over indulgent to go crazy with yolks.
250ml - milk
Pinch of salt

It may not be correct but I put the flour in the mixer, add the eggs, salt and half the milk and mix adding the rest of the milk as it goes. On the whole it doesn't come out lumpy. If it does I use this, seeming useless, whisk from Ikea to get rid of the lumps.

It is worth leaving the batter to stand for half an hour. But if you just can't then don't! (we didn't) Get frying

Use butter not oil in the pan. It's all about the taste. It's all about the heat. If you get the pan really hot your first pancake need not be rubbish.

After faffing with ladles for years I realised that using a jug to pour the mix into the pan is much easier.

Now for the touchy topic of pancake fillings. I am a purist and lemon and brown sugar is hard to beat. (Go for real lemons. Squeezy lemon is very handy but just doesn't cut it for pancakes.)

But! I've grown up, darn it, and have to have at least one savoury one before going for the sticky sugar fest that is true pancake day for me.

So I go for Spinach and blue or goats cheese. There is only one way to get this filling just right. Bung the spinach in a bowl, mix the cheese in, cover with cling film and shove in the microwave on high for about a minute. If the spinach isn't wilted yet put it back in the microwave until it is. Give it a good stir. Maybe add some walnuts if you like them and add to a perfectly flipped pancake. (Microwaving spinach is the easiest way to cook it. Very little water to drain endlessly and all the nutrients stay where they are. If you aren't adding anything to it you can even put it in the microwave in the bag it comes in.)

Finally. I have no top tips for flipping. I average 50% success and failure.

Cost: About £1 for the mix which gave two of us 3 huge pancakes each. Around £2 for a few good fillings.

Verdict: As if I need to convince you about this!

Finally: Don't forget that that pancake batter is practically identical to Yorkshire pudding batter. Just use less milk to make slightly thicker mix. No excuses for buying them ready made. 

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