Pancake Day #1 – Traditional Crepes

Bring on Shrove Tuesday!! It has to be the best day in the culinary year….great for young and old – there are so many ways to incorporate pancakes into the day! This year it falls on the 21 February – 6 days and counting!

What is Shrove Tuesday all about?  The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Lent, for many, is a time of abstinence, of giving things up, and being the last day before the period of Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration (indulging!) as well as penitence.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, and throughout the United Kingdom the day used to be (and still is) associated with pancakes because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. (read more on Wikipedia)

To start – a simple crepe recipe! The trick is to keep the batter runny, and to pour it on thin! These pancakes should be crisp and delicate. You can add a few tablespoons of beer to the batter to increase crispness but this is not a must.

We love them with lemon and sugar – or try with a dollop of Greek Yogurt, a scatter of blueberries and a drizzle of honey! Yum! A great breakfast or pudding.

Traditional Crepe

150g flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
375ml milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
Grated zest of a small lemon
1/2 tsp cardamom (can be omitted but does give a lovely flavour)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Veg oil for frying
Icing sugar and lemon to serve
Greek Yogurt, Honey and Blueberries another option
  • Put flour and sugar in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl beat together egg, vanilla paste, lemon zest, oil, cardamom and milk until smooth
  • Whisk the egg mixture into the flour
  • Pour the batter into a jug and let stand for 10 minutes to collect itself
  • Grease a non stick frying pan with some oil (using a paper tissue works well) and heat
  • While the pan is heating up give the batter a quick stir. If it feels dense add a little bit of milk
  • When pan is hot and ready, pour on a small amount of batter – the first pancake, for some bizarre reason, always turns out dreadful!!!!! If anyone has the answer to this please let me know – therefore just use a small amount of batter. Flip it when the sides of the pancake start to go golden and fry on the other side for a minute or two
  • Keep flipping your pancakes and either serve them up straight from the pan (if you, like me, have quite a few little hungry faces staring at you!) or keep them warm in on a plate in the oven and serve once you have used all the batter
  • Enjoy with icing sugar and lemon or yogurt and berries….or maybe nutella?!
  • Oh and don’t forget that after the indulgence bit you are supposed to give up something….what will it be for you this year??

Happy cook – less than happy subject of photography!