Pancake day is the one day where it’s fully acceptable to throw food around the kitchen! The whole country unites in making this simple dish… but why?
Pancake day is held on Shrove Tuesday, the day that precedes Ash Wednesday. Shrove Tuesday is always fallen exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, therefore the date varies each year. It is usually somewhere between February 3rd and March 9th (this year it is on February 28th).
The old tradition of eating pancakes is believed to have originated from pagan rituals. The word ‘shrove’ comes from the term ‘shrine’ which means to free yourself from sin. In the old days families would be encouraged to remove fattening foods from their cupboards and needed. Back then it was uncommon to waste anything, and so their indulgent ingredients would be thrown into one simple meal, allowing families to use up all their eggs, flour, butter and milk into one straightforward dish.
In other countries, in particular those who call pancake day Mardi Gras, celebrate Shrove Tuesday as a carnival and treat it as the last day where they are allowed ‘fat eating’ or ‘gorging’ before the fasting period of lent.
Ingredients (serves 4 – 5 people)
110g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
Lemon juice or Golden syrup
Strawberries or blueberries (optional)
Sieve the flour into a large serving bowl. Break the eggs into the centre of the bowl and whisk together with the flour. When the mixture starts to thicken start to slowly add the milk whilst continuing to whisk. Next melt the butter in a pan on a low heat then whisk it into the mix. To cook set a pan on a hot hob with a tiny amount of butter (just enough to lubricate the pan slightly). Once the pan is hot, use a ladle to pour in some of the mix and tip it from side to side so you get even coverage on the pan. Cook for 2 minutes then flip it over (or if you are confident do the good old pancake toss!) Cook for a further 2 minutes and put onto a plate. If you are unsure then lift the pancake with a knife and check if it is golden in colour. To serve, sprinkle with caster sugar and lemon juice or golden syrup and enjoy!
Tip – to make it healthier try adding some strawberries or blueberries!