Pancake Day

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
2 eggs
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
2 eggs

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.


  1. Oh we did enjoy our pancakes, thank you. Smalls tried different flavour sensations- salami and cheese, nutella and maple syrup... I just had sugar. And scotch pancakes are The Best. Why does anyone buy them when they are so so easy and satisfying to make?
    No double sprouts here on December 25th. Phew. Ax

  2. Oh you just made me so hungry for pancakes. They look so yummy!

  3. Yummy yummy pancakes. I love them, I even make them for my lunch when I'm here on my own if I prepare a batter mix for toad-in-the hole.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  4. Your Scotch pancakes looked perfect. My sons lost count of how many pancakes they had tonight. I also flipped rather than tossed as I tossed the first one but it put the dog in danger! Health and safety should ban tossing!!

  5. Yes, we certainly did enjoy our pancakes, although my Swiss husband refused to eat any because I didn't have any apple mousse! Apple mousse, I ask you - that's sacrilege in my book. We didn't argue with him, we just ate his share too!

  6. Anonymous8:55 pm GMT

    But I LOVE sprouts - sprinkled with chopped bacon and roast chestnuts they're delicious. Also mush them up with cream and a bit of nutmeg - divine! And just as they are I love them. But as we stuck to the letter of the law and had pancakes this evening (sugar & lemon) perhaps I can have double sprouts at Christmas. The girls call them fairy cabbages.

  7. We enjoyed pancakes for tea too - with lemon and sugar! But I hope this doesn't mean no sprouts - I adore sprouts!

  8. We had two lots of pancakes here as well. I made pancakes (like your Scotch ones) on the girdle and we had them mid morning with butter,syrup and raspberry jam. My sister made crepes which we ate this evening filled with a mixture of roast veg, pesto and parmesan. I make pancakes on the girdle fairly regularly and also use it for girdle scones and soda scones. Your photographs are wonderful - you must be very pleased with your macro lens!

  9. I LOVE sprouts - as does everyone else here. But I did make them pancakes for supper - savoury (ham and cheese) and sweet (lemon and sugar, nutella, banana and honey and plain honey). But they scoffed the entire batch of batter, so this little piggy had none. Boo hoo hoo.

  10. Ahhhh proper pancakes for breakfast ;o) I do like English pancakes but I do consider "Scotch" pancakes a taste of home. I wish I still had my Grannoes skillet for making pancakes on but alas it went missing in one of our moves along with her Spurtle and mixing bowl and our Christmas decorations (not in the same box you understand!)
    I hate sprouts so I should be excused punishment because it was a only because middle littlie can't have eggs I felt it cruel to eat them in front of her and I forgot to get her a substitute (bad Mummy that I am).
    Delish post Sue.

  11. Well, I don't know, what a strange lot you are liking sprouts.

    Helen, I have a Swiss neighbour, I will have to quiz her about apple mousse on pancakes.

  12. Anonymous9:33 pm GMT

    Yum, yum, yum. My favourite day of the year. I might make pikelets tomorrow, too.

  13. Gosh that all looks soooooo good. Just the one helping here today, but enough to make sure the sprouts get skipped at Christmas!! N xx

  14. I love English pancakes with lemon and sugar, oh so yummy. I never used to like sprouts until I tried them a different way and now I love them. Parboil them until just tender and then saute them up in a pan with some bacon, until they are carmelized and oh so good. Your fish dinner looks fantastic, almost supper here, wishing I had the makings of it.

  15. You've made me want another pancake day today. I'm ravenous after seeing your delicious photos!

  16. Yummy pancakes Sue. Re your comment on my Space Station post - this link will give the times that it is visble again tonight - http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/cities/region.cgi?country=United_Kingdom&region=England
    Hope you get to see them, best wishes Pj x

  17. I am definitely coming to live at yours! x

  18. No point to tossing pancakes? What rot. Tossing pancakes makes you look as if you really know what you're doing.

  19. I love sprouts, but had pancakes anyway. My bizarre children managed one pancake between them and I couldn't go wasting the batter so I ended up having more pancakes than I'd planned. What a shame!
    I'm glad you haven't said anything about the first pancake not working - that's just a case of people being impatient and not waiting for the pan to be hot enough in my opinion.

  20. We certainly did!! We had them for breakfast on Sunday and last night (savoury and then sweet!) - a little pancake overdose perhaps?!

  21. I'll take a double helping of pancakes AND sprouts as I love both.
    We had our pancakes tonight one day late as were out to a Chinese restaurant last night.
    Only sugar and fresh lemon juice on mine and while my hubby rolls his up I like mine left flat - like a pancake!


    oh, and that fish supper looks yummy.

  22. I think I've already had more than my share, as I love pancakes and eat them throughout the year. Yours look delicious!!
    I don't toss them every time either. I also love crisping up the other side under the grill with some golden syrup on top rather than flipping them over. Yum.

  23. Can't eat pancakes any longer - coeliac! (Not interested in 'alternative' baking, tastes like cardboard mostly.)

    Sprouts though, now that's a different story. A few months ago I tried this: with about 10-12 fresh sprouts per person (!), peel, then slice each one through, root to tip about 6 times on each sprout. In a frying pan or wok, put some butter and olive oil. Cut up a garlic clove per person into tiny cubes. Fry very gently, and when they start to colour, add the sprouts. Continue to fry/toss until they have started to brown. They reduce in volume quite a lot, so you'd never know you were eating so many.
    Also wonderful with spring greens or dark cabbage, as long as the leaves have been dried after washing.
    Serve with sausages and wedgie potatoes. I dare you not to enjoy!

  24. Pati from London2:10 pm GMT

    Hi Sue, I have to admit, I'm guilty as we couldn't eat the pancakes on Tuesday (everyone was out with work/Uni commitments) and we agreed to postpone the occasion to the weekend. I was also secretly hoping that you were going to write a nice recipe for them here and you did indeed!!! Thanks! The scotch pancakes look perfect and we shall be having them for a nice long breakie on Saturday. Thanks, thanks and thanks again!!! x Pati x

  25. I actually had a day off on Tuesday so I prepared dinner and pancake mixture in advance, thinking how delighted the boys would be to know they were having pancakes. Boy the Elder had pancakes for lunch at school, came home, had more pancakes, then went to Scouts where the activity for the day was ..... making pancakes.

    But we both love sprouts.

  26. Oh, also, I had some leftover custard and put a dollop of that in a pancake. It was lovely.

  27. I like both style of pancakes but the American type are a poor relation tothe more traditional ones.

  28. http://shonkywonkybarnadventures.blogspot.com1:20 am GMT

    I fought the law and the law won!

    your pics are super amazing, sue - you should have gone to art college.

    thanks for your blog and inspiring me to have a go - my pics are pretty crap compared to yours.

    jen x

  29. Those scotch pancakes are beautiful, but I'm afraid I'll take extra sprouts any time! Growing up on traditional pancakes with lemon and sugar turned me off for life. Plus, it's not worth the effort if you live alone, just for the sake of the day.


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