Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Shrove Tuesday

Pancake or Shrove Tuesday is the perfect excuse to make crepes or pancakes. They are easy to make, require few ingredients and are relatively inexpensive. 

Growing up we had pikelets or drop scones, these were much more like the pancakes or hot cakes as we call them today. Usually they were served with jam and cream, however, we sometimes had them with sliced banana mixed through the butter. I often make this version and serve them warm with cinnamon sugar. Pancakes were more like crepes, they were served hot from the pan and rolled up with sugar and lemon juice inside. As an adult I discovered that crepes could be used to wrap around all manner of fillings.

Chicken and mushroom crepes

I have always used a version of the 1:1:1 recipe,  that is 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 egg. There is little difference between crepes and pancakes, they are both batters made with flour, egg and milk. I mix the batter with an electric mixer or in the food processor. For crepes the batter needs to be thin and flat so use plain flour and a little more milk. I also add a little oil to help them stay pliable. I make lots and freeze them in stacks, wrapped in clingfilm. The pancakes need to be light and fluffy, use SR flour. I add some sugar and vanilla to the batter if making a sweet version. 

The secret to good pancakes and crepes is temperature control. I use an electric frypan for the pancakes. It is an old one that is only used for this purpose. The thermostat is set on 340 deg F (165 deg C) This makes it easy to turn out evenly coloured pancakes. If you are going to cook them on the stove top you will need to adjust the temperature of the burner/element. Pancakes and crepes are cooked with dry heat and are not fried, use only a little oil to prevent them from sticking. I never wash my pancake or crepe pan. I wipe them out with paper towel and let the film of oil bake on to the surface.

1 cup self raising flour
1 egg
1 cup milk
Optional - Add the following for sweet pancakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together to make a smooth batter.

Place 2 teaspoons oil in the pan, heat until very hot and then wipe out with a thick wad of paper towel. 

Put heaped spoons of batter in the pan, allow a little room for spreading.

Turn over when bubbles in the pancakes start to pop

Keep pancakes warm by placing on a plate covered with some paper towel and then covering the stack with a clean tea towel or paper towel.

Serve with toppings of your choice.

pancake with lemon butter and whipped cream

cafe breakfast
Canadian shortstack, crispy bacon, eggs, tomatoes and maple syrup

I use a crepe pan on the stovetop to make crepes. 

1 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil

Mix all ingredients together to make a smooth batter, it should be runny so add more milk a little at a time until it is like thin/pouring cream.

Place 2 teaspoons oil in the pan, heat until very hot and then wipe out with a thick wad of paper towel.

Pour in batter,for my pan I use a 1/4 cup,  roll the mixture around the pan to coat the bottom.

As it cooks the edges will lift or curl in slightly, use a spatula to slide in under the crepe and loosen it and then turn it over. Toss if you must!

Stack cooked crepes on a clean plate until ready to use.

I use the crepes as a wrapper for many different fillings both sweet and savoury, however, chicken and mushroom are always good. I spread some of the cooked filling into the middle of the crepe and then fold the top down and roll as I go to make a cylinder shape. 

Place the crepes onto a sheet of cooking parchment on a tray, sprinkle with grated cheese.

Heat in oven  1670 deg C until golden brown and the filling is hot. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.

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