Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday: 16th February 2010

To Make 10 Pancakes (if vegan or dairy/wheat-free, click here)

4 oz (125g) plain white flour

a pinch of salt

2 eggs

½ pint (300ml) milk (you can use half milk, half water if you’re that way inclined)

2oz (60g) melted butter OR a couple of tablespoons of oil (optional but nice)

1 tablespoon of rum, brandy, beer or gin (ditto)

Everything should be as close to room temperature as possible.


1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and crack in the eggs. Mix together till smooth. If you're not using fat, go straight to step 3.

2. Mix in the butter (if you like, you can heat it in your pancake pan first until it foams and goes light brown – this will make the pancakes taste pleasantly nutty). Or add the oil, if you’re using that, but in that case don’t do the foaming thing.

3. Mix in the milk (gradually at first) and finally the optional alcohol.

You can leave it to stand for an hour at this point, but if it’s not convenient, don’t bother.

4. Butter or oil a frying pan (preferably non-stick) and heat it. It needs to be at about 4 or 5 on a 6-setting hob dial. When hot, add about 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake. Cook for just under a minute on one side and very briefly on the other.

Keep your cooked pancakes warm while you make the rest (they can be kept overnight wrapped in foil if you like and reheated the next day).

Fill them with cheese, ham, spring onions, pasta sauce, feta and tomatoes, jam, baked beans, chocolate sauce, houmous, cream, blueberries, bananas, yoghurt, honey and lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar, maple syrup, ice cream or whatever else is around.


Vegan pancakes (by Ian).

Mix together equal quantities (by volume) of buckwheat flour and oat milk to get a really thick glutinous grey batter.

Fry them in a non-stick pan with plenty of oil to make surprisingly tasty blini-style cakes. They are particularly good with houmous, chopped spring onion and/or roast veg... or honey and lemon or chocolate spread or pecan-caramel sauce and strawberries.


Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the last day before Lent, when people traditionally a) used up all the butter and eggs in making pancakes and b) went to be shriven (forgiven their sins) before the fasting period began. In France the same festival is called Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday". There's lots of interesting and entertaining information about Pancake Day here.


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