The modest pancake is most frequently associated with Shrove Tuesday, an annual event that indicates the last day before Lent. Historically, pancakes were the ideal way to make use of perishable ingredients before the fasting period began.
Enticingly slim with golden-brown colouring, just three pantry basics create a fantastically simple treat for any mealtime. Simple to execute and master, our basic pancake recipe makes a versatile foundation for experimentation, with different toppings for family breakfasts, light puddings or savoury starters.
You will need
- 100g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- Vegetable, sunflower oil or butter for frying
- Pinch of salt
- Take the flour and salt, and sieve into a large bowl to get some air into the mix. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Mix the eggs into the flour using a whisk or fork, gathering more flour into the mix as you go. Continue whisking and add a little milk at a time until you have a smooth even mixture, with a consistency of thin cream.
- Get your frying pan really hot, then reduce to a medium heat. Use kitchen paper to lubricate the pan with butter or oil, and pour in a couple of tablespoons of batter to test how much you need to get the thickness right. It’s easier to pour the mixture using a ladle for a single smooth pouring motion. Tilt the pan to distribute a thin and even layer of batter, pouring any excess batter back into the bowl.
- If the pan is at the right temperature, the underside of your pancake should turn golden brown in about 30 seconds and you will be able to shake it loose and turn it over. Use a palette knife to gently lift the edges of your pancake to ensure it is developing the perfect golden brown colour.
- A quick shake of the pan should confirm the underneath is cooked, and the pancake will shake loose. It’s now ready to flip, so slide the palette knife under and quickly turn it over. Make sure the pancake is flat in the base of the pan and leave to cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Turn it out onto a plate and continue the same process with the remaining batter. Serve them as soon as they’re done or stack them on a plate to reheat when you’re ready.
- Classically topped with a simple squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar, try branching out with a handful of chocolate chips instead, a drizzle of maple syrup, or even ice cream and stewed fruits. Be creative!
Oven: Stack on a plate and cover with foil before placing in a preheated oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4 for 5-10 minutes.
Microwave: Stack on a microwavable plate and cover with cling film. Pierce the cling film with a few holes and heat on high for 1 minute.