Today is pancake day (Shrove Tuesday). It marks the last day before Lent, which traditionally is a period of abstinence, and what better excuse for your family to start the day with something more indulgent than your usual cereal and toast?
Many people like their pancakes thin, similar to crepes. I’ll happily eat those but usually filled with a savoury filling. For me, sweet pancakes have to be thick and fluffy, stacked high and topped with fruit.
My lovely niece Emily made these for us for Christmas breakfast. It’s a fantastic recipe from Exclusively Food that doesn’t need an extra standing time, and produces pancakes that aren’t too sweet and are perfectly fluffy (even the first one you make).
I’ve made no changes to the original recipe – they’re absolute perfection! However, they do suggest using the back of a spoon to spread out the batter, just as you pour it into the pan, to form an 11cm diameter circle. You could do this if you prefer thinner pancakes; I just let the batter spread on its own to keep them thick (and they spread to the same diameter anyway).
THE FLUFFIEST PANCAKES
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20-25 mins
Makes about 12 medium pancakes
375ml (1 1/2 cups) full cream milk
2 tsp (10ml) lemon juice
35g (2 tbsp) sugar
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg
30g (1 1/2 tbsp) butter, melted
Extra butter, for greasing pan
Mix the milk, lemon juice and sugar in a medium bowl, then set aside for five minutes. (It might develop a slightly curdled look during this time.)
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl.
Break the egg into the milk mixture and add the melted butter. Whisk until the egg has combined with the milk (don’t worry it the butter just floats on the surface).
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk quickly until almost smooth (the batter should still have a few small lumps). Don’t overmix the batter as this can make the pancakes tough. Leave the batter to rest while the pan is preheating (at least two minutes).
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Melt a little butter in the pan to lightly grease it.
For each pancake, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Cook only two or three at a time, otherwise turning the pancakes will be difficult.
Cook the first side until small bubbles appear and burst on the surface (about 1-2 minutes).
Turn over with a spatula and cook until the second side is lightly browned and the pancakes are cooked through (another 1-2 minutes).
Cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm while you finish making the others. Add a little more butter to grease the pan each time and keep checking the temperature of the pan as it will probably need to be reduced as the pan heats up with use.