Today is Shrove Tuesday, also called Pancake Day!
This is the day when we traditionally make pancakes to use up all of the good things to eat before we start the period of symbolic fasting that is Lent. These days the fasting takes the form of "giving up" things like sweets or cake. In centuries past it would have been a much more serious fast, eating meat would have been forbidden during Lent for example.
"English" pancakes are more like crepes than American pancakes which tend to be fatter and fluffier.
I have eaten up all of my Christmas chocolates and most other sweets, I have just a few sweets left to finish up today and then I will be giving them up for Lent. I am also trying not to eat any biscuits or cake. There will be an exception for Birthday Cake though!
If you want to try and make English Pancakes today here is the recipe. Also converted into cups.
250 g Plain Flour (2 Cups All Purpose Flour)
600 ml Semi Skimmed Milk (2.5 Cups 2% Milk)
2 Large Eggs
Pinch of salt
Mix well together in a large bowl. Allow to sit for as long as you can bear - at least an hour, but can go all day in the fridge.
Heat a frying pan until very hot, melt a small knob of butter into the pan, swirl around the pan. Add a small amount of batter to the pan - approximately a quarter of a cup - and swirl until the base of the pan is covered in a thin layer of batter. You can always add a little more if there are any large holes.
You can see just how thin it is.
Allow to cook over medium high heat until you see that the top looks dry and the edges start to lift away from the pan. Take a spatula and ease the edge all the way round and shake the pan to loosen the pancake. The first side should be a light golden brown all over or in places. I then turn the pancake using the spatula, but if you are feeling brave you can toss the pancake.
This is what the first side will look like.
Allow to cook for a moment on the other side until it starts to have golden brown spots.
This is what the second side will look like.
Remove from the pan and either serve immediately, or put on a plate in a warm oven and continue cooking until they are all done and then serve them all together.
Serve traditionally with lemon juice and sugar sprinkled liberally over each one and then roll them up into a tube.
The first pancake will inevitably not be very good. That is OK, it is the cooks perk - they get to eat it as well as their own share! So if your first one looks like this don't worry. Just eat it up quickly before anyone else notices!
In a large frying pan this makes about 11 pancakes, but would make more if you used a smaller pan of course. You can also halve the recipe to make less pancakes very successfully.
I hope that you will enjoy some pancakes today before the start of Lent.