Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pancakes Around the World...

...or at least pancakes in England and the US. Happy Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day! In the UK, instead of Carnival or Mardi Gras and partying like there's no tomorrow, they make pancakes. Kind of mundane in comparison, but I can't say that to my boyfriend! He told me not to say things I can't take back, I said I won't plan to take it back.

A little back story, last year I was in England for Shrove Tuesday (my boyfriend gets mad if I just say Pancake Day) and I was told about this holiday. I had never heard of English pancakes before, and was confused when a family of people who sounded so excited for pancakes just got up and did their thing without making them! I asked my boyfriend what happened to making pancakes, and he realized that nobody told me that the English eat pancakes as a dessert or with savory filling for dinner (I learned the filling part this year)! His family then explained it to me and had a good laugh. I know better this year!

Anyway, in honor of Pancake Day, I made American pancakes in the morning to get in both of our cultures. I had chocolate chip and my boyfriend had plain. Of course we had real Vermont Maple syrup on top.

Tonight was English pancakes which are much thinner than the American version and are more like crepes. I've never had a crepe, but I'm told English pancakes are a bit thicker. It's traditional to serve them sprinkled with superfine sugar and lemon, rolled, and sprinkled once again with lemon and sugar. I am not a big fan of lemon flavor, so I just do a little drizzle of that once, not after rolling.

I actually did pretty well with making the pancakes. The batter was a bit lumpy so I had to strain it. I think it's because I followed the recipe's directions to whisk in the eggs, but maybe whisked a bit too much. I was also worried about flipping them because they are so thin, but I was actually able to flip them up in the air and get them in the skillet! I only messed up one and that was because it ended up folding when I flipped it. The first one was also a little messed up, because I hadn't gotten a hang of pouring the batter into the pan and rotating it so it's a thin layer.

The English pancakes were ok, but a little plain. I learned today that people put different things in them and don't just do the lemon and sugar. I'll have to try that sometime, see if it tastes better.

English Pancakes

220 grams all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
4 eggs
400 ml milk mixed with 150ml water
100 grams butter

lemon wedges to taste
superfine sugar to taste

  1. Sift flour into mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the flour and crack eggs in the well. Slightly whisk in eggs.
  3. Slowly add the milk and water mixture, whisking to get lumps out of flour. The batter should be runny, like cream.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, put 4 tablespoons into the batter and pour out the rest into a bowl to save for buttering the pan between pancakes.
  5. Heat the pan to medium heat.
  6. Ladle some batter (about 1/4 cup) into the hot skillet, tipping the pan to coat the batter evenly around the pan. When the bottom has browned and the pancake is dry around the edges and bubbling, flip over.
  7. Cook until browned. Place on plate, sprinkle with sugar and lemon, keep warm until serving.
  8. Before serving, roll into longs and sprinkle with additional sugar and lemon.


Made by Lena