Well, as you probably know today is pancake day. I thought I’d celebrate it with a nice festive nut roast, but unfortunately I didn’t have the ingredients so I decided to go with a less conventional choice: Pancakes.
The problem with growing up, I find, is that you’ve figured out your parents secrets. Well, some of them anyway. When I was younger my parents often cooked breakfast on weekends. Most of them my mother made, but my father cooked occasionally. In particular he specialised in cooking crepes. We called them english pancakes (to distinguish them from American pancakes). We always considered these a great treat, as we didn’t get them very often.
The secret? They’re actually really easy to make. The batter takes 5 minutes with a food processor. I mean, sure, his are probably a bit better than mine. But the basic principle is almost no effort at all (well, ask me again once I’ve washed everything up).
What I used
1 cup white flower
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups milk
A very small amount of vegetable oil (for frying)
What I did
It’s completely possible to do this without a food processor. That being said, I have a food processor and am lazy. Place bets on my not using it?
So, what did I do? First, I shoved everything in the food processor and hit blend until it was smooth. There, mix is done.
Now, I know you, and I know you looked at that ingredients list and thought “Bloody hell David, that’s a lot of pancakes”. Well, maybe you’re less inclined to casual blasphemy than I am and thought “Gosh durn Davey boy, that there be a lot of pancakes”. Same principle though. Well, you’re right. So the next thing I did was immediately transfer half the mix to a plastic container and stick it in the fridge. Pancakes for breakfast it is.
Cooking the pancakes was straightforward. I heated up a nonstick frying pan. It’s important to heat it up first. If you put the pancake on a cold pan it will die of hypothermia. Or possibly just stick really badly. Oh well, the first one stuck really badly anyway. Probably partly because I didn’t let it heat up enough, but I remembered that my dad usually put a tiny bit of vegetable oil in the first one to stop this from happening, so I added a bit after I removed this one.
Once the pan is hot, I pour a little bit of mix into it and rapidly tilt it round until the bottom of the pan is covered. You need to judge the amount right, but too much is better than too little – too much and you get thick pancakes, too little and you get mangled pancakes.
Once the bottom of the pan is covered, I left it on the heat, shaking the pan occasionally until the pancake moved freely on it (don’t worry if it sticks at first – it will do that until the base is cooked). Once it was at that state I peeked at the bottom every now and then to see what colour it was and when it was the right colour (it should be a light golden brown, but I’m sure you know what pancakes look like) flipped it over and repeated the process of occasional peeking until it was the right colour (this side shouldn’t stick).
I then served with lemon juice and sugar. I’d intended to try some sort of savoury vegetable filling as a nod to a balanced diet (with Ollie, my lunchtime provider of salads, currently in deepest darkest India, the vegetable content in my diet isn’t great at the moment), but I didn’t. Why? Because a) A savoury vegetable filling was more work and b) Lemon juice and sugar is just too damn nice.