Make-your-own Pancake Day recipes at home
American, French crepes or just basic pancakes with sugar and lemon - what's your preference? All you need is a mixing bowl and a frying pan to get flipping this Shrove Tuesday (Feb 16).
Mmm, look delicious don’t they! I ordered these blueberry and ricotta pancakes for brunch from multi-Muddy Award winner Coffee Architects in Leamington Spa a few years ago – and haven’t forgotten how good they were!
As it’s Shrove Tuesday next week on Feb 16, and not possible to eat out under current Covid restrictions, are you planning a pancake extravaganza at home? I’ve gathered a couple of our favourite easy pancake recipes – which even my 11-year-old can follow.
Despite the recipe being relatively simple it’s so easy to go wrong – and we’ve had a fair few disasters. (Feel free to share photos of any pancake mishaps, if you’re making them next week, we’d love to see your underwhelming attempts!)
First is a Classic Crepes Suzette recipe from Delia’s Vegetarian Collection, where she revives her original 1960s recipe. We generally stick to the basic one. For a vegan alternative, use non-dairy plant-based milk (almond/oat/soy etc), melted vegan butter, coconut or olive oil and miss out eggs.
DELIA’S 1960S CLASSIC CREPES SUZETTE (serves 6)
4oz (110g) plain flour
2 large eggs
7fl oz (200 ml) milk, mixed with
3fl oz (75 ml) water
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
2oz (50g) butter, melted
For the sauce
5fl oz (150 ml) orange juice (from 3-4 oranges)
grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier, Cointreau or brandy, plus a little extra if you are going to flame the pancakes.
2oz (50g) unsalted butter
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with the sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.
- Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from the edge of the bowl as you do so. Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps – they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
- Then add the orange zest and caster sugar and whisk once more until the batter is smooth, and the consistency of cream.
- Now spoon 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it when needed to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round.
- Next, get the 7inch (18cm) pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium, and to start with do a test crepe to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 1.5 tablespoons about right. It’s also helpful if you spoon the into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go.
- As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated the batter. It should only take half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be.
- Flip the crepe over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only, then simply slide it out of the pan on to a plate. If they look a bit ragged in the pan, no matter, because they are going to be folded anyway. You should end up with 15 – 16 crepes, and as you make them, stack them between sheets of greaseproof paper.
For the sauce
- Mix all the ingredients – with the exception of the butter – in a bowl. Now melt the butter in the larger frying pan, pour in the sauce allowing it to heat very gently.
- Then place the first crepe in the pan and give it time to warm through, before folding it in half, and then in half again to make a triangular shape…
- Continue like this until they’re all re-heated, folded and well soaked with the sauce.
- Omit the grated orange peel and tablespoon of caster sugar from the pancake mixture and use 2 tablespoons of batter at a time in a pan, as basic pancakes should be a little thicker than crepes. You should end up with 12-14 pancakes.
- To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll up.
Other optional toppings: Banana slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, maple syrup, Nutella, crème fraiche (dairy or plant-based) and yogurt.
THE PERFECT AMERICAN PANCAKES (makes 10)
I’ve kept this recent pull-out recipe supplement from The Guardian‘s award-winning food writer Felicity Cloake on How to make the perfect breakfast.
115g plain flour
115g fine cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml whole milk
45g butter, melted
- Put the oven on low and put a wire cooking rack inside. This is to keep the first pancakes warm while you cook the rest. Prepare any toppings you fancy.
- Put the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder and bicarb into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the milk and buttermilk into a jog, then crack the egg on top. Beat until it’s mixed, then stir in two tablespoons of butter.
- Make a dip in the top of the dry ingredients (the flour etc), then pour the milk into it. Stir just until you can see no more dry patches, then stop; if you stir too much, your pancakes will be tough.
- Put a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and brush the base with melted butter. Once it feels hot when you hold your hand above the pan, you’re ready to cook.
- Dollop circles of batter into the pan (5-8cm diameter), leaving enough room between them so they don’t run into each other – you won’t be able to do them all at once. Cook until the pancakes begin to look dry and bubbly on top; about three minutes.
- Flip the pancakes over using a palette knife or tongs, and cook on the other side for a couple of minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately, or arrange on the wire rack to keep warm while you cook the rest.