Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, call it what you want ! But growing up in England today is PANCAKE DAY ! You know the days coming because of the bowl of oranges and lemons in the fruit bowl. It’s the only day of the year Mum whips up a bowl of yorkshire pudding batter and stands at the stove after the main course has been served and starts making pancakes one after another until either everyone is full or the batter runs out. And it’s always the latter.
Of course in the USA “English Pancakes” are called Crepes but the recipe is still the same. For most Brits it’s a squeeze of lemon or orange and a tea spoon of sugar and then fold into four or roll up. Others like to make a “Crepe Pie” out of them. Below is the “English Pancake” recipe I used at Buckingham Palace. If you want to make the “Crepe Pie” then use the Lemon Cheese recipe from my book Eating Royally.
8 ounces plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 egg yolks
2 ounces butter
½ ounce caster sugar (extra fine granulated)
1 pint milk (20 fluid ounces)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
pinch of salt
Sugar, lemons and Oranges for garnish.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil to “season the pan”
1) In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ½ oz sugar and salt.
2) Add the egg and yolks followed by the milk and vegetable oil and continue whisking until there are no lumps.
3) Melt the butter in a small pan until it is golden brown and whisk into the pancake mix. Leave the batter to rest for about 15 minutes.
4) Heat an 8 inch pancake pan – or small frying pan and add the 1 tbs vegetable oil and spread it around the base of the pan. Carefully heat the oil until it starts to smoke and then pour it into a small bowl for later use if needed and return the pan to the heat.
5) Pour about two tablespoons of the batter into the pancake pan, tilting the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook until the base is golden brown and then turn or toss to cook the other side.
6) Turn out the pancake onto an upturned dinner plate and repeat step 5 with the remaining batter, stacking the pancakes.
7) Serve straight away with the lemon and orange wedges and sugar.
8) If you want to make the pancakes in advance then lightly butter an ovenproof tray and sprinkle each pancake with sugar. Fold them in half and then half again arranging neatly on the tray. Cover the tray with foil and bake in a 350f / 175c degree oven for about 15 minutes. Serve with the lemon and Orange wedges.
Makes about 20 (8 inch) pancakes.