Tuesday 16th February is Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day! Traditionally pancakes were made to use perishable ingredients before the fasting period of Lent.
This post includes the ingredients and method for one of the best recipes that we have found for making crêpes, from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, the Classic Edition. Made with eggs, milk and butter, this recipe is super simple, the batter does not need to rest before using, and it produces very thin, lacy pancakes which are exquisite eaten hot straight from the pan. The word crêpe comes from the Latin crispus, meaning curly or wavy.
Favourite fillings in the Salford Kitchen include cheese and spinach for savoury pancakes and for sweet pancakes, maple syrup and butter, Nutella and banana, and of course the classic: a dusting of golden caster sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Call me a traditionalist, but sometimes simple is best.
What are your favourite fillings to put in a pancake?
Makes around 8 pancakes
- 110g plain flour (4oz)
- A pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 200ml milk (7 fl oz), mixed together with 75ml water (3 fl oz)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- A little extra butter for cooking the pancakes
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up high to incorporate as much air into the flour as possible.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with an electric or manual balloon whisk, beginning to incorporate the flour from around the edges as you do so.
- Gradually start to add small quantities of the milk and water mixture. Ignore any lumps because they will eventually disappear as the whisk gets to them.
- When all the milk and water mixture has been added, slide a silicon spatula around the edge of the bowl to incorporate any stray patches of flour. Then whisk again until the batter is smooth and has the consistency of thin cream.
- When you are ready to cook the pancakes, add the 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the batter and stir it in.
- To cook the crêpes: melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Pour a small quantity of batter into the hot pan, tilting it in all directions to spread a thin film of batter on the pan. Turn the heat down to medium until the crepe slides when the pan is shaken. Turn the crêpe over and cook the other side for about 2 minutes.
- Either enjoy straight away or you can slide each pancake when cooked out of the pan on to a warm plate. Cover it with foil and put the plate over a pan of simmering water to keep the pancake warm while you cook the next.