Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day: Every Day Easy Pancake Recipes
Homemade pancakes smothered in sweet maple syrup
Malasadas sprinkled with fine caster sugar
The beginning of the mere pancake
I realize a hub about pancakes is not eggsactly flour power; sorry couldn't resist, however indulge a little and you might learn a thing or two about the mere pancake and it's origins.
First up: a spoon full of history before the best pancake recipes are revealed.
One of the most famous Tuesday's in the world is 'Pancake Tuesday'. Celebrated in numerous fashions from tossing pancakes, to parades and carnivals. Pancake Tuesday, so called due to the mass consumption of traditional rich foods dating back to the 1800's: eggs, milk and sugar (the classic pancake mix) before the famine (self inflicted) called Lent by most Christian faiths. Lent begins the following day, Wednesday and lasts for forty days.
Pancake Tuesday is the last day to eat a normal diet of everyday foods and snacks. Pancake Tuesday in Ireland and the UK precedes ash Wednesday the first day of Lent. Pancake Tuesday also called shrove Tuesday; the past tense of the verb to shrive; meaning 'to obtain absolution from your sins by confession and to do penance.' In other words Pancake Tuesday is the feast before the famine; a day to eat high calorie pancakes and enjoy your favorite treats. Once lent begins all treats and luxury foods are banned. Lent finally ends on Easter Sunday and treats are back on the menu.
I am pretty sure the English contributed famously to the first idea of fast food. Pancakes weren't just eaten in England: from around 1445 ladies (mostly) would enter a pancake race; running while flipping their pancakes. The winner was the first over the line that tossed their pancake the most. And they say culture is a diminishing feat. I beg to differ.
Easy pancake dispenser
Stick with a good non stick pan for perfect pancakes
The virgin pancake: The traditional classic
- 2 medium eggs (free range is good, but as long as they're fresh don't worry)
- A pinch of salt
- 200 grams of strong plain flour
- 500 ml full fat milk
- 60 grams of butter, already melted, plus extra to fry
- Lemon and sugar or honey and jam to serve
- Blend all the ingredients together except the melted butter, till smooth. If you have an electric blender cool, if not you'll have fab triceps.
- Add the melted butter.
- In a non stick pan melt a knob of butter (from the extra) to coat the bottom of the pan.
- When the melted butter is slightly foaming add a good spoon of pancake mix.
- Swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.
- When the underneath is cooked the mix will bubble slightly, flip or use an egg lift to turn the pancake to cook the other side.
- The pancake should be a nice golden colour.
- Lay out flat on a plate, add your filling of choice and roll.
- Keep warm till ready to serve.
- To flip your pancake, ensure the underneath is thoroughly cooked.
Lashing and Lashings of maple syrup
Pancake by any other name
- In France, Pancake Tuesday is Mardi Gras.
- Italy introduces the famous Tuesday as Martedi Grasso.
- The Portuguese refer to this special day as Terça Feira Gorda.
- A traditional treat for the Portuguese at this time of year are malasadas. Similar to a sugared doughnut; delightful.
- Don't despair if your holidaying in Hawaii, they make the best malasadas in Hawaii going back to the sugar plantations of the 1800's.
- Take a trip to Iceland for Pancake Tuesday and you'll find yourself tucking into a feast of salt meat and peas other wise known as SPRENGIDAGUR. The meaning; bursting day. I must admit it's got a certain ring to it.
Virgin with a twist
Use the same ingredients as the virgin pancake mix adding the first three ingredients below:
- 50 grams of caster sugar
- 25 ml of the liquor, grand marnier
- 2 tsp of orange zest
- Caramel ice cream to serve (your choice, Carte D'or is mine)
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Mix the batter and fry as the virgin pancake.
- Lay the pancake flat on a plate; put a scoop of the caramel ice cream in the centre.
- Roll and tuck the ends under the pancake; sprinkle with icing sugar and devour.
- Pour over chocolate or toffee sauce if you really want to indulge.
- If the waist line is already in trouble but the eyes want the chocolate, use a little coco powder instead of icing sugar.
- These pancakes make a great dessert for a dinner party: cook the pancakes earlier in the day, reheat when ready to serve with your favorite ice cream and dessert sauce.
Another brunch idea
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Luxury eggy pancake
- 300 grams plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 350 ml full fat milk
- 60 grams of butter melted, plus extra to fry
- Sift flour and baking powder together into a large bowl.
- Add sugar, eggs, milk and butter mixing to a smooth batter.
- Cook as the virgin pancake.
- Top with berries such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries; fresh or frozen with a dollop of creme fraiche.
- Sliced banana with sour cream and honey.
- Grilled peaches with treacle or yogurt.
- Stewed sweet apples and poring cream.
- Crispy bacon and fried tomatoes make a delicious breakfast pancake.
- Fried mushrooms with a sprinkle of parsley.
*Why not invent your own special accompaniment and have your very own special pancake day.
Pancake or Carnival
European countries of latin Europe introduced the carnival. Out with the pancake in with the party. Think Rio and you're on track: floats; music; dance; costumes; fun and food. Traditionally even the spectators dress up in costume. There is always a theme, ie the elements, the seasons or nature. Adults dress up as well as the kids. The shops are full of sexy (nurses, milk maids, roman fighters, vampires) and fun outfits (sailors, pirates, nuns, super heros). The perfect start to celebrate the journey of lent. Whether you do or you don't do the absolution, don't get left with egg on your face.
Have fun :)
© 2010 Gabriel Wilson
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