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Last week saw Pancake Day, followed by the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  Pancake Day, officially known as Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent and seen as a last opportunity to indulge and use up the foods that are traditionally forbidden during Lent, such as meat, fat, butter and eggs.

First up is the perfect pancake recipe and let’s all remember, pancakes can be eaten on any day of the year.  They’re a quick and easy treat to whip up for the kids and this recipe is one of the easiest you’ll find.

pancake day

 

 

You’ll need one egg, a mug full of flour and a mug full of milk.  Whisk together the egg and the milk and then add the sieved flour a tablespoonful at a time, whisking all the while.  You should end up with a smooth batter which is a similar consistency to custard.  Rest the batter in the fridge for at least an hour before using – this will give the flour time to absorb the liquids.

To cook the pancakes, heat a tiny amount of oil in a frying pan until very hot, add enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan, swirling as you go to spread it out evenly.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip the pancake and cook the other side and it’s ready.  The first pancake often goes disastrously wrong, but that’s part of the fun.  Oiling the pan is easier if you invest in a silicon pastry brush.   You’ll need to add another drop or two of oil in between each pancake.  If you like, you can add some sultanas to each pancake as you cook them.  Spread your pancake with the filling of your choice, roll up and serve.

Sugar and lemon is a favourite on pancakes in many parts of the country.  However, to make the pancakes extra special, why not try some of the following fillings:

  • Sliced banana, chocolate shavings and ice cream
  • Homemade jam and cream
  • Mascarpone and lemon curd
  • Strawberries and cream
  • Chocolate spread with orange slices
  • Greek yoghurt, sliced mango and honey
  • Chocolate spread with crumbled hazelnuts
  • Lemon, honey and cinnamon

If you’d like to try savoury pancakes, they make a great tea time treat for all the family, especially when served with a great salad.  Here are some savoury pancake fillings to try for something a little bit different:

  • Mushroom and Brie – fry up some button mushrooms with a little garlic, add a couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche and diced Brie, spread on the pancakes and serve.
  • Salmon and Mushroom – Fry some button mushrooms in butter until they soften, add a pack of diced salmon fillets and stir gently until cooked.  Remove from the heat and gently stir in a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill and ¾ of a jar or Hollandaise sauce.  Spread on the pancakes, grate on some pepper and roll up.  Place the pancakes in a gratin dish, spread the rest of the Hollandaise on top and bake for 10 minutes.  Serve with a fresh salad.
  • Cheese and Leeks – Simmer some diced leeks in a little vegetable stock for 5 minutes until soft – drain well, reserving the stock.  Heat 300 ml of milk with 20 g of butter and 40 g flour in a saucepan.  Add the reserved stock and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens.  Add 50 g of grated Cheddar cheese and some chopped parsley.  Stir until smooth, add the leeks and then spread on the pancakes and serve.
  • Cheesy Broccoli – Make the cheese sauce by gently heating 150 ml double cream in a pan, whisk in 50 g grated Parmesan and 50 g grated Cheddar and a pinch of salt.  Continue to mix until the cheeses melt into a thick, creamy sauce.  Cook the broccoli in boiling water then add 3 or 4 florets of broccoli to each pancake, spread on some cheese sauce, fold in half and drizzle with a little more cheese sauce.

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