Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the day to get rid of and consume the last of the meat and eggs before the meatless days of Lent. This tradition evolved into the practice of combining the rich foods (eggs, butter, milk, flour) into pancakes and eating these before the fast days of Lent itself.
Today, pakcake Tuesday is a day all children up and down the land look forward to with relish.
Pancake Day Pancakes RecipeServes: 10–12
120g (1 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
210ml (1 cup, less 2 tbsp) milk
90ml (6 tbsp) water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
butter, for frying
caster sugar, for sprinkling
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. Form a well in the centre and crack the eggs into this. Beat the eggs together then work them into the flour. Now whisk together the milk and water in a separate bowl.
Beat the milk and water mix into the flour and egg mix, working until smooth and adding just enough of the liquid to give you a consistency similar to single cream. Add the oil and beat to mix then set the batter aside to rest for 30 minutes before use.
Once the batter has rested, heat a non-stick frying pan over high until very hot. Reduce the heat to medium then add a very small piece of butter and use to coat the pan. Beat the batter then add a ladleful to the pan, quickly rotating the frying pan so that the batter evenly coats the base.
Cook for about between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until the base of the pancake is lightly browned. Now, using a palette knife, gently flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for about 10 seconds, or until this side is also lightly browned. Carefully slice the pancake onto a heat-proof plate then set in a low oven to keep warm as you cook the remaining batter in the same fashion.
To serve, bring the stack of pancakes to the table, allow the guests to chose a pancake then sprinkle over the surface of the pancakes with caster sugar and lemon juice. The pancakes can either be rolled up like a Swiss (jelly) roll or they can be folded in half and then folded again to form triangles. Serve accompanied by lemon wedges.
My grandmother (who was Welsh) used to make a variant called a torth gri (curranty cake) where, as soon as the batter was added to the pan to fry currants were scattered over the top before the pancake set. The currants would then be cooked into the batter, adding more flavour to the pancake.
This recipe is adapted, with thanks, from the Celtnet classic pancake day pancake recipe page.
For many more pancakes and other traditional dishes for Shrove Tuesday, why not visit the Celtnet Pancake/Shrove Tuesday recipes page.