When I was little pancake day/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras was always a little highlight in an otherwise dull part of the year. My primary school would always have a pancake flipping race across the playground and I also have a vague memory that at the end of the race we were encouraged to toss our pancakes up onto the roof of our old Victorian school building, where they would sit in oily patches for the next week waiting for the seagulls to come and pick them off. I think the aim was to get them all the way over the building but that rarely happened.
When we lived in Germany we used to celebrate Rosenmontag rather than Shrove Tuesday. I can certainly remember watching the parades with a mixture of fear and excitement, the giant paper mache floats were terrifying but the pockets full of sweets we would come home with made it worth it!
These will always be my favourite type of pancakes, maybe even more so than the giant crepes that you get in Brittany. They’re delicately thin and soft and crisp in the perfect proportions. Delicious with lemon and a sprinkling of sugar!
serves 2 greedy people
100g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil
Whisk together the salt and flour in a decent sized mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
Crack the eggs into this and add the oil and a splash of the milk. Whisk the whole lot together, gradually incorporating all of the flour, ensuring that there are no lumps. You should have quite a thick, smooth paste at this stage.
Steadily pour in the remaining milk , whisking as you go so that you have a thin batter, my mum has always told me that it should have the consistency of thin cream. Pour the batter into a jug.
Set a heavy based frying pan over a moderate heat. I have a crepe pan from France which is perfect for the job. Wipe the pan with a little oil using a piece of kitchen paper and pour in a small amount of the batter. Tilt the pan so that the batter spreads out to cover the base completely. Leave the pancake for a moment or two to cook on the under side then loosen the edges and flip it over to cook the other side. It should be lightly browned on both sides.
Repeat this process until all of the batter is used, you can keep the pancakes warm on a plate in low temperature oven until you are ready to serve them with your favourite toppings.