Did you know that is actually against the law not to eat pancakes today? It is, you know, and the punishment is a cruel and unusual one to be sure. Failure to eat pancakes today will result in double helpings of sprouts on Christmas Day. Take heed.
Nobody here likes sprouts. I tolerate them but I can't say I've ever thought to myself 'gosh I could really murder some sprouts right now'. Pancakes on the other hand are a different kettle of yum. So to make absolutely sure that no-one has to eat sprouts next Christmas we had pancakes twice today. Pancakes for breakfast and pancakes for dinner.
For breakfast I made Scotch pancakes (also known as drop scones). I use the recipe on the cream of tartar tub. Because these pancakes contain raising agents they are thick and spongey.
Half a pint of milk
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
8oz self-raising flour
I use a wide measuring jug to mix pancake batters. First I measure the milk into the jug then add the other ingredients. I use a stick blender to combine everything thoroughly. Then I can pour the batter easily from the jug into the pan.
For Scotch pancakes I use a large non-stick frying pan and no fat. You need a low to medium heat. Get it hot before you start cooking the pancakes.
When bubbles appear it is time to flip them over.
Keep them warm wrapped in a tea towel while you make more.
We like these with butter and golden syrup.
For traditional English pancakes I make a thinner batter with
8oz plain flour
1 pint milk
I get about 12 large pancakes from this batter. This time I use a small non-stick frying pan and get it very hot. You need some butter in the pan in order to get a slightly bubbly, crinkled, wrinkled surface to your pancake. Only a nut of butter is needed. Swirl the butter around so that it coats the entire pan and pour in some batter tilting the pan so that it also coats the entire surface thinly. These pancakes should be thin.
The pancakes are ready to turn when the edges can be lifted away from the pan, and when the pancake can be shaken loose from the pan. lift the edges to see if it has browned enough and then use a fish slice or palette knife to turn the pancake. You can of course toss your pancake but I've never seen the point.
I serve pancakes as my mother served them. Sprinkled with sugar, scattered with sultanas, squirted with lemon juice (not from a plastic lemon) , dotted with butter and rolled up.
It's marvellous what three simple, basic ingredients can do.
If you should have a mishap with a pancake, or indeed with all your pancakes. If they are not perfect circles, if they fold up and stick together when you turn them, do not despair. Roll them up, slice them into ribbons, toss with sultanas, butter and sugar, squeeze on some lemon, pile into a big dish and pretend that is how they are supposed to be. They will still taste delicious.
We ate our pancakes after a fish supper. Roast fillets of haddock with a heap of roast potatoes and posh mushy peas.
I hope you enjoyed your pancakes too.