Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancake Day

Depending where you're presently located, today has a number of names: Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday. But my absolute favorite comes from the UK where Pancake Day is celebrated. Traditionally, the Brits mark the last day before Lent by indulging in rich foods, specifically the milk, eggs, and butter found in pancakes. While in the states, pancakes are usually topped with syrup and fruit, the Brits prefer lemon and sugar.

Pancake Day Pancakes (Adapted from BBC Food)

1 cup plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 scant cup milk mixed with 1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
Caster sugar
Lemon juice
Lemon wedges

1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Make a well in the  flour and break the eggs into it. Begin whisking the eggs, incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
2. Gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture and continue to whisk (don't forget to scrape down the bowl). Melt the butter and add 2 tbsp to the batter. The remaining butter will be used to grease the frying pan.
3. Warm the pan on high heat, then turn the heat down to medium. Spoon 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and quickly tip the pan from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. The pancakes will cook quickly, so flip when the edges appear browned when lifted with a fork (about 30 seconds). Flip the pancake over, the other side will need a few seconds only, then slide onto a plate.
4. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or you can roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

Happy Pancake Day!

Image via BBC Food

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