Pancakes - Not Just For Lent


Oct 29, 2014 by British Blog

Although plenty of pancakes are eaten in Britain, most are consumed on Pancake Day, the day that has traditionally marked the last big blowout before the extended fast of Lent. Unlike Americans, as a nation we tend not to eat pancakes regularly - which is a pity, because they are one of the most versatile, easy to cook and convenient foods around.

Why not break with tradition, and incorporate a few more pancakes into your life? Here is a basic recipe for 'crepe' style pancakes, of the type most frequently eaten in Britain (this batter, incidentally, tastes even better if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours). It is followed by a list of toppings, to inspire you.


Basic pancake recipe

Take 60g plain flour, one medium egg, a pinch of salt and 175ml milk, mix them and beat well. Melt a little butter in a frying pan and pour over a thin film of batter. Cook this until the edges begin to curl up and then turn it over. Cook briefly, then transfer to a plate.


Ideas to try

  • You can make pancakes look stunning by adding food colouring to the batter, to produce brightly coloured crepes. It won't change the flavour, but it will give them a real wow factor, especially if you make piles of different colours - great for parties!
  • Strawberries are a classic pancake topping, but to ring the changes, why not combine them with feta cheese or balsamic glaze?
  • Add cocoa powder to your pancake batter to give a chocolate hit - drizzle on chocolate sauce for greater decadence.
  • Replace the milk in the batter with a soft drink - such as cola or orangeade.
  • Don't forget that pancakes don't have to be sweet - you can team them with savoury flavours too. Try them in a full English breakfast, or wrapped around cheese and ham, or topped with roast butternut squash and goats cheese.
  • Chopped, caramelised bananas are great on pancakes, as are caramelised pears with chocolate sauce.


Go stateside?

If you fancy a truly authentic American pancake experience, you will want to make pancakes in the American style, which produces a smaller and thicker pancake rather like a Scotch pancake or drop scone.

To make American pancakes, mix 135g plain flour, one teaspoon of baking powder and two tablespoons of sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together 130ml of milk with a large, beaten egg and whisk in two tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the liquid into the dry mixture and beat them together until combined.

Then, melt some butter in a frying pan and pour in a ladleful of batter. The pancake will look quite thick, but this is how it should be. Cook the pancake on each side until golden brown, then serve.

Traditionally, American pancakes are served with butter and syrup (specially maple syrup) but any of the toppings given above would be lovely - or why not invent your own? You can also add raisins or blueberries to the batter before cooking, to add a fruity twist to this recipe.