Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Pancake Day: Classic British Pancakes

There are so many variations of pancakes out there and I am fond of most, sweet, savoury, filled, thick and fluffy, flat and light, crepes...I could go on but suffice to say pancakes are a big winner at our house.

Pancake day though, to me signals a homeliness I associate with childhood - rushing home from school to eat a whole stack of pancakes lovingly prepared by my Mum and the joyful tradition of seeing how well she could flip them in the air. So for today's festivities, for me it always has to be the flat British type, topped with lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar with the additional sweetness of a 1 large tablespoon of 0% fat natural yoghurt and some mixed berries. These are great for all the family too - including weaning ones who love them as a finger food.

This variation yields perfect pancakes every time, the perfect balance between sweet and savoury too. I do insist on a good fat ratio and prefer rapeseed or light olive oil although butter works well for a richer flavour - my Mum used to use lard back in the day!

This makes about 8 thin, delicious pancakes if made in a usual pan. Try to leave the batter once mixed for at least 30 minutes as it will result in better pancakes. In fact the batter lasts overnight so make the night before if you can.

Classic British Pancakes
Here's how:
  • 125g plain flour
  • 300ml milk (full fat works best here) 
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 drop good quality vanilla essence
  • Rapeseed oil, light olive oil or butter
  • 1 lemon (a Jif Lemon will suffice if fresh is not available) 
  • Sprinkling of granulated sugar
  • 0% fat natural yoghurt (I use Yeo Valley
  • Handful mixed berries per person
  • Zest from 1 lemon

Pop the flour into a mixing jug and pour over a third of the milk, then whisk it through as best you can, slowly adding the rest of the milk till it resembles a batter.

Now add the egg and yolk, the salt and vanilla and give a good whisk till it's light and airy. Now place some clingfilm over the top, not too tightly, and place into the fridge if leaving overnight or leave on the kitchen side if using shortly.

Once ready to make the pancakes, place the oven on at 150g and pop a plate in there in preparation to keep the made pancakes warm.

Now add a little rapeseed oil (or your preferred choice of oil/fat) to a non-stick pan and place on a medium heat. Once hot, turn the pan down a bit and use a ladle to pour in enough batter for the first pancake.

Cook for a couple of minutes or until the liquid batter has formed a squidgy solid, then use an egg slice to gently slide under all the edges, till it's easy to move then flip over and cook the other side for the same amount of time.

Once cooked place on the hot plate and cover with foil and pop back into the oven, and repeat the process till all the pancakes are cooked.

Now serve with lemon squeezed over then sprinkle with sugar. Top with the yoghurt and berries and for a final, flavoursome flourish add a grating of some of the lemon zest which will also help to make a very pretty plate too. Enjoy!

Here are a few alternative pancake recipes if you prefer something less traditional:

1. Yoghurt Berry Pancakes
2. Courgette & Corn Pancakes
3. Salmon & Dill Pancakes

And here are my favourite London spots for pancakes if you won't be flipping any this year:

1. Tom's Kitchen
2. The Modern Pantry
3. My Old Dutch 

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