It is quite easy to make pancakes from scratch. If you get lumps in your batter just blitz it in the blender until smooth. And when it comes to cooking pancakes, local cookery teacher Sara Jones explains that “the misconception is having a really hot pan. You need to have a hot pan but the heat needs to be even all over, so it’s best to have it on a medium heat and wait for it to get hot rather than a high heat.”
(For a gluten free option see Mrs B’s gluten-free pancake recipe).
(We don’t measure but see here if you want quantities).
See suggestions below
1. Place around 3 cups of flour in a mixing bowl and create a crater in the middle.
2. Whisk your eggs (we do 1 per person) and pour into the crater.
3. Stir carefully keeping your spoon in the liquid, gradually bringing in flour from the edge of the crater.
4. As the mixture thickens, slowly add milk whilst stirring all the time. If it gets too runny the lumps will be able to run away from your wooden spoon so add the milk slowly. If you get into lumpy trouble, blitz the mixture in a blender until smooth.
5. Once you have achieved the consistency of double cream leave the batter to set in the fridge for round about 20 minutes. Then take the mixture out of the fridge and begin heating the pan.
6. The mixture out of the fridge and begin heating a pan.
7. Once the pan is hot, add a generous chunk of butter and spread it evenly around the pan. (Or if you are making a big batch of pancakes you can heat a generous quantity of oil in the pan then pour it into a china jug to keep warm. And then pour a little into the pan before each pancake.)
8. If the batter has thickened, stir in a splash of water.
9. Pour in enough batter to fill the pan by tipping it to spread to the edges.
10. Once you see bubbles building up under the pancake, you know the first side is cooked. Run round the edges with your spatula. Once the pancake is loose it’s not too difficult to grab the pan handle in both hands and…flip
11. Now with the cooked side facing up spread your filling over one half of the pancake.
12. After 2 or 3 minutes, once second side is cooked, relocate the pancake from pan to plate.
13. Roll or fold pancake into desired shape.
14. Feast straightaway.
15. Or wait until you have made enough pancakes (kept warm in a low oven) for everyone to tuck in at the same time.
How to flip a pancake
First make sure the pancake is completely loose in the pan (not stuck at all). Hold the end of the handle very firmly in both hands. Practice sliding pancake back and forth a couple of times. Slightly tip the pan down so the pancake slides against the edge furthest away from you then flick your wrists upwards. Keep your eyes on the pancake so you can be sure to catch it again in the pan when it lands, hopefully the other side up. Keep practising. And if all else fails just turn them over with a spatula.
If you have a large family it is a good idea to pre-make the pancakes and keep them warm in the oven so everyone can sit down and enjoy them together.
Pancake filling suggestions:
The Sour Susan: lemon/lime and sugar
The Lumberjack: grated cheese, cooked bacon/ham (optional), Worcestershire sauce, and pepper
The Artist: cream cheese, smoked trout/salmon and lemon juice
The Deserter: banana, vanilla ice cream and nutella
The Romantic: nutella & raspberry (if you are using frozen or tinned raspberries strain off excess liquid first)
Autumn warmer: apples and raisins
Filled & Baked Pancakes
Make your pancakes and filll each one with bolognese sauce or cooked bacon, grated cheese and chopped mushrooms. Roll and pop into a baking dish and top with cheese sauce and bake in the oven for 20 mins to heat through. This makes a tasty main dish and can be served with salad or vegetables.
What’s your favourite pancake filling? Please share in the comments below.
Why is Shrove Tuesday called Pancake Day?
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent starts. In the Christian calendar, Lent is a time for fasting leading up to Easter. Pancakes were a traditional way to use up indulgent ingredients like eggs and milk before the fasting season of Lent began.
There may also be pagan origins to the tradition, with warm, round pancakes symbolising the sun and the arrival of spring.