By Shrove, it's Pancake Day!
The day is a celebration where people indulge themselves in foods traditionally forbidden during Lent. Pancakes contain ingredients that many people would have kept at home in the past, and would have wanted to use up the day before the fast began so as not to waste perishable foods.
These days, Shrove Tuesday - or Pancake Day, on 17 February - reaches beyond the realms of religion, and many people across the globe test their pancake tossing skills. There's an unlimited number of ways to serve them, both savoury and sweet, making pancakes an extremely versatile food for any meal of the day, any time of year!
Don't stop at lemon and sugar - make Pancake Day extra special with Australian chef Bill Grainger's 3 ways with pancakes: try pikelets with rhubarb jam, buttermilk pancakes with caramelised bananas, or bukwheat galette with ham and cheese. They're all featured in our February 2015 Cook Edition - pick up a copy in our shops, or download the app from the links below.
What you need for perfect pancakes
The success of your pancake depends on the right tools for the job, as well as the ingredients. Use a non-stick frying pan, or best of all a pan designed specifically for the job.
- The House by John Lewis frying pan is perfect for the job, is suitable for all hob types, and is non-stick for easy release and cleaning
- To create the perfect batter, check out the John Lewis Orb mechanical scale in striking yellow, with easy-to-read dial in metric an imperial
- For a smooth batter, use a good balloon whisk. The John Lewis stainless steel balloon whisk is an essential tool for pancake making
- And of course you need a great flipper like thisflexible silicon OXO Good Grips turner!
- If you're going traditional lemon and sugar, try this sugar shaker for even distribution
- When you're finished with your lemon, this Joie lemon storage pod will keep it fresh and firm in the fridge
- These Pancake Day cotton tea towels keep the theme going right through the washing up - the set of 3 features 3 different designs
- Finally, set off your culinary masterpieces by serving on these PiP Studio Royal Collection plates, for elegance with a splash of colour
For a classic 8-pancake recipe, you'll need:
- 110g of plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 200ml of milk mixed with 75ml of water
- 50g butter
- a pinch of salt
First, sift the flour into a bowl using a fine sieve and then make a well in the middle and break the eggs into it.
Start whisking them together, before gradually adding the milk and water until you have a thin, cream-like consistency.
Melt the butter in a pan and add 2tbsp to the batter mixture. Use the rest of it to smear around your pancake pan before you make each pancake.
Here’s a list of handy tips for cooking the perfect pancake:
- Pre heat your pan on the stove without any oil or butter for 1 minute on a medium heat, then pour in a little and start cooking.
- Don't over-mix the batter, or you'll develop the gluten, making your pancakes tough not tender!
- To get consistent good sized pancakes, use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measure for the batter. Any leftover batter may be stored up to a week in the fridge.
- Any excess pancakes (unlikely if you follow these tips!!) can be stored in the freezer. Wrap them in a baking sheet and freeze them, but don't stack them directly on top of each other
- Let your creativity run riot and remember that pancakes don't only have to be served on Shrove Tuesday!
The final ingredient for a successful Pancake Day is hob cleaner! This powerful formula will cut through the toughest burnt-on drips of batter or stray pieces of pancake that didn't flip into the pan as planned, leaving your hob sparkling clean.