Quick Recipes and Easy

Pancake Day 2006: Top Tips for Perfect Pancakes

The tradition of Pancake Day, celebrated in the UK and elsewhere, goes back centuries. The other name for the day is Shrove Tuesday, because Pancake Day falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and is the day when Christians went to confession and were ‘shriven’ or absolved from their sins. Pancake Day 2006 falls on February 28th.

In the UK, Pancake Races, where the aim is to keep on tossing a pancake in a frying pan as you go, take place around the country. Even if people don’t take part in a traditional race, many households will celebrate Shrove Tuesday by cooking up a stack of pancakes. Here are some tips, to ensure that your pancakes are perfect.

Mix up the batter Here’s a really simple pancake batter recipe, to make about 16 pancakes. Using a blender, place ingredients into the goblet in the following order: 2 eggs, 200g flour (1 ½ cups), pinch salt, 550ml milk (2 ½ cups). Blend the mixture for 60 seconds, to form a smooth batter, then leave to stand for 30 minutes. Blend again before using.
Heat up the pan
The secret of successful pancakes lies in the frying pan. Too cool and the pancake won’t set well, and you won’t be able to toss it. Too hot, and you’ll end up with pancakes that have a burned underside. Take a frying pan of 6-7 inches (15cm) width. Rub round lightly with oil – you can use a spray, or pour a small oil on to a piece of kitchen paper and rub round the pan. Place the pan on the heat and let it warm up. When you can see a slight haze, place a drop of batter in. It should set instantly. If the pan is smoking, it’s too hot.
Swirl a pancake Neatly pour in a part of batter – not too much – and quickly swirl it around to make a pancake that fits the base of the pan. Speed is the issue here, it needs a deft flick of the wrist to produce the perfect shape. Mind you, mis-shaped pancakes taste just as excellent, so there’s no need to be too obsessive.
Toss a pancake Keep loosening the edges of the pancake with a fish slice, and shake the pan occasionally to loosen the centre of the pancake. The underside should be set within a minute. Make sure the pancake isn’t stuck, and shake gently so that it slides around the pan. Then, ready, steady, go – flip it up and over and catch it – all in one simple movement. It’s not hard once you’ve got the knack. If you don’t make pancakes very often, you might need to practise on a couple to start with, then you’ll be ready to get the production line rolling.
Serve a pancake For a traditional Pancake Day pancake, there’s only one possible topping – sugar and lemon. Slide your cooked pancake on to a warmed plate. Squeeze a drizzle of fresh lemon juice over, sprinkle on sugar, roll it up and – yum. Pleased Pancake Day 2006!

Elizabeth Martyn is webmaster at healthy-eating-made-simple.com healthy-eating-made-simple.com, where she provides information, tips and recipes on using seasonal, fresh ingredients to feed the family healthily and without hassle.

Visit the site for more suggestions for healthy-eating-made-simple.com/pancake-day-recipe.html sweet pancake fillings.

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