holy crêpe

Pancake Tuesday calls for proper pancakes. French style, none of those doughy american ones. This recipe is good and straightforward so no excuses for not making them. Don’t buy those pre-made batters either. They are creepy. How could eggs, milk and butter be kept fresh for so long? Witchcraft, that’s how. I use Delia Smith’s recipe but with a pinch less patience.

Plain flour          110g

Salt                       good pinch

Eggs                      2

Whole milk          200ml

Water                    75ml

Butter (melted)   50g

Put a heavy-based or non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. It’s going to need to be seriously toasty.

The hallowed pancake pan
The hallowed pancake pan

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. In a jug beat together the eggs, milk and water. [Turn the heat under the frying pan up to high]. Add the egg-y jugful to the flour and salt and whisk till they’re well combined. Fear not. That lumpy mess in front of you will become lovely and smooth and about as thick as un-whipped cream. Whisk in the melted butter. Delia advises leaving it to rest in the fridge but I seldom remember to make the batter in advance so no resting here.

In go the liquids
In go the liquids
have faith
have faith
and the butter...
and the butter…

The frying pan should be scalding hot at this stage. Use a pastry brush or piece of folded kitchen paper dipped in some extra melted butter to grease the pan. Be careful, it will spit a bit. Decant the batter into a jug for ease of pouring or use a big ladle for the batter if you’re too scared to pour straight from the jug. You need just enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. Once the batter hits the pan quickly swirl it around.

away it comes
away it comes

As it cooks it will come away slightly from the side of the frying pan (see above). After about one minute, use a palette knife or long butter knife to loosen the edges of the pancake. If you are foolishly confident, give flipping it a whirl. If, like me, you know this could only end in tears just flip it using the knife. It will take another minute or two on the second side. You can use the knife to have a peak under to see how brown it is.

The first pancake will be shocking bad. This will, unfortunately, always be the case. Throw it away.

My favourite filling is Nutella, dark chocolate and fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc.) and maybe marshmallows too. Some unimaginative folk (husband), however, prefer lemon and sugar. I’ve shown a few suggestions in the photo below but there really isn’t any limit on what you can use. Though I will say that malteasers, crunchies and crispy m&m’s are heart-breakingly disappointing.

Almost healthy
Almost healthy: starting at the top – bananas, milk chocolate, desiccated coconut, marshmallows, dark chocolate, red currants, strawberries, white chocolate, cherries, nutella, mars bars, raspberries, bounty bars and lemon and sugar in the middle.

With chocolate and chocolate bars, nutella and marshmallows it’s best to pop them onto the pancake after you flip it but before it’s fully cooked so they get a chance to melt.

melty and delicious
melty and delicious

One pancake is not a full portion.

If for some unknown reason you have batter left over it’ll keep quite happily in the fridge for about two days, just be sure to give it a brisk whisk before using it.

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