Pancake Day 3 Ways:
Yes! Pancake Day is here! Who doesn’t love a day where you can get away with eating pancakes for all three meals?
Here in the UK, it’s a tradition that goes back many generations. On Shrove Tuesday, pancakes are made to use up the sugar and eggs in the house, so there is little temptation left for Lent. It’s now more common to give up those bad foods as a New Year’s resolution. Pancake Day, to most, has become a day of Wintertime fun; flipping pancakes with family and friends.
In my family, Pancake Day is always good fun. Pancake flipping competitions always provided good mealtime entertainment, even if we lost a pancake or two along the way. Everyone likes their pancakes a different way and with different toppings, so variety has always played a key role in our Pancake Day traditions. The year we found out that my dad is gluten-intolerant, we also had to be creative and discovered the best ways to enjoy Pancake Day gluten-free. Pancakes are so easy to make, even for baking beginners and they can easily be adapted to modern diets.
Even with dietary requirements, your Pancake Day can be equally as delicious. I’m sharing with you three of my top pancake recipes for slightly alternative Pancake Day treats.
(makes 5 pancakes, prep time: 10 mins, cook time: approx. 6 mins per pancake)
If you are gluten-intolerant or are trying out a gluten-free diet, this is the best pancake mix for you. I discovered it when staying with my friend’s family in France and we had it many times as a light lunch with a glass of cider. It has a delicious flavour and is naturally gluten-free, as it uses buckwheat flour. If you’re struggling to find buckwheat flour in your local supermarkets, try any local health food shops or online.
I was taught a galette should be eaten with cheese, ham and an egg cooked right there on the pancake, a galette complète. Delicious!
For the pancakes:
Pinch of salt
50g melted butter, plus extra for frying
5 ham slices, cut/torn into pieces
200g grated cheese
- Sift the flour into a bowl. Then add the salt, egg and half of the milk and beat until smooth.
- Add the remainder of the milk and mix into a thin batter. At this stage, the batter can be kept in the fridge for up to 12 hours if you’re not planning to make the pancakes straight away.
- When you’re ready to get cooking, make sure the batter is back up to room temperature. Melt the butter and add it to the mix, stirring until combined. Be prepared, the batter is a strange, slightly stringy or gloopy texture, but this is normal.
- To cook the pancakes, heat up a frying pan (or ideally a pancake pan) until it’s nice and hot. Add a small amount of butter to coat the pan surface. Then, using a ladle, drop some of the batter into the pan making sure to move it around until it’s evenly spread out.
- After about a minute, there should be air bubbles forming under the pancake and the edges should be starting to brown and peel away, this means it’s time to flip!
- After flipping the pancake, crack your egg straight onto the hot pancake so that it starts to cook, then add the grated cheese and ham around the edge of the egg. If the egg is taking a little too long to cook, try spreading the whites out thinner or placing the pan under a grill, keeping an eye to make sure the pancake doesn’t catch.
- Once the filling is all cooked, fold the edges of the pancake in to make a square, with the egg showing the middle and serve immediately.
(makes approx. 10 pancakes, prep time: 10 mins, cook time: approx. 3 mins per pancake)
Although pancakes are traditionally made using butter, milk and eggs, they are not necessary to make a great pancake. Here is my favourite recipe for a vegan British pancake mix with my favourite decadent topping, poached pears and dark chocolate.
1tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
500ml soy milk
Oil for frying, preferably coconut oil
For the topping:
4 ripe pears, peeled
1l of water
A shake of ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, melted (Vegan Chocolate)
- Starting with the pears, add the water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a large pan and stir until most of the sugar has dissolved. Now add the pears to the water and heat the water to a good simmer. Turning the pears occasionally, leave to simmer for up to 20 minutes or until the pears feel soft when tested with a sharp knife. When they’re done, turn the heat off but leave the pears to rest in their liquor. They can be used hot or cold.
- Whilst the pears are poaching, sift the dry pancake ingredients into a bowl.
- Add the oil and gradually add the milk whilst stirring the batter to make sure it’s all combined smoothly.
- Now heat the coconut oil in a frying pan until its nice and hot and make sure it’s spread to the edges. Pour a ladle-full of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly, trying to make the pancake very thin. This recipe can easily produce a stodgy pancake if poured too thick.
- When the pancake is bubbling underneath and the sides are peeling away, flip and cook on the other side.
- Serve your pancake with slices of poached pear and drizzled heavily in dark chocolate. If this doesn’t take your fancy, why not try them with the traditional lemon and sugar?
(makes approx. 8 pancakes, prep time: 15 mins, cook time: approx. 4 mins per batch)
This is my final Pancake Day special. No diets allowed for this one, it’s a traditional fluffy American-style pancake recipe for those who want to indulge.
For the pancakes:
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder, heaped
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
25g unsalted butter, melted (plus extra for greasing)
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then, in another bowl, whisk up the buttermilk, egg and butter.
- Combine the wet and dry together in the large bowl, stirring only until they are combined with a few lumps. This mix doesn’t like to be overbeaten.
- In a greased pan, over a medium-low heat, drop in a large heaped spoonful of the mixture per pancake. You can cook these in batches of 2 or 3 at a time.
- Once the pancake has little bubbles on the top and the underside has browned, flip them over and cook for another minute or two until golden and spongy to touch.
Now you have a stack of fluffy pancakes, why not try my super tasty topping options?
Maple glaze, toasted pecans and vanilla ice cream:
Ever find when you drizzle maple syrup on your pancakes, that it soaks right in and you can barely taste it? Well, this maple glaze is a super easy to make and delicious alternative which will stay on your pancakes and keep them moist and sweet.
50g unsalted butter
100ml maple syrup
100g icing sugar, sifted
50g toasted pecan halves
Vanilla ice cream
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter and maple syrup.
- Once the butter is fully melted, take off the heat.
- Add gradually to the bowl of icing sugar, stirring until its fully combined.
- Leave until it’s come down to room temperature as it should then be a good pouring consistency.
- Serve your pancakes with the glaze poured over, sprinkled with pecans and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Mixed berry compote and cream:
Fancy something a bit fruitier? Try my easy recipe for a tangy berry compote.
400g frozen mixed berries
1-3 tbsp brown sugar, depending on your sweetness preference
Extra thick double cream
- In a saucepan, mix together the berries and sugar and place over a medium-low heat.
- Stirring occasionally, heat the fruit until it starts to break down and the sugar has dissolved.
- Leave the mixture at a low simmer for around 20 mins, stirring every now and then to prevent any burning on the bottom.
- Leave your compote to cool slightly before spooning onto your pancake stack and topping with a dollop of fresh cream.
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