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Pancakes - step by step

By February 15, 2015 , , , , , ,

Here in the Netherlands, every day is pancake day, as it is one of the national dishes. That doesn't mean that Shrove Tuesday as it may be known to some of you isn't a big deal in my house.

Growing up it was a big deal in an Irish household as we only had them once a year and you always had them with lemon juice (the one from the plastic bottle) and sugar. I always had a competition with my younger brother to see who could eat the most. 

The great thing about the crêpe style of pancake is you can make them in advance and also freeze them. This is an advantage when making them for a dessert like crepes suzette, as you can just warm them up in the pan with the sauce (30g butter, 20g sugar, 70ml orange juice and reduce to a thick sauce, add some orange segments and you're done) and then flambé with 20ml Cointreau.

When heating pancakes up, it is better to warm gently in an oven rather than microwaving them otherwise you'll end up with rubbery ones.

So here's a simple recipe for crepes courtesy of my alma mater, Leiths School of Food and Wine. The recipe can also be found in the Leiths Cookery Bible.

It is better to make this mixture well in advance and then pour into a jug and keep in the fridge for later use.

Pancake Batter

2 eggs
110g flour
290ml milk
pinch salt
Butter for frying

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt
Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into the middle

Add about 50ml of milk
Start to whisk the eggs and milk, use small strokes and do not try and incorporate the flour all at once, otherwise you'll end up with a lumpy mixture

Add the milk gradually until you have a smooth and thin mixture.

When cooking the pancakes, ensure the pan is evenly heated, not too hot so as not to burn the butter and don't pour too much in at once. 
The pancakes need to be thin, not thick.

Coat the pan evenly with butter

Start to pour the batter and turn the pan as you do so, you only need a thin coating

Allow one side to cook, you can tell it is cooked through as it will no longer stick to the pan, you can now flip it over to cook the other side

One of my favourite Fillings

Creamed mushrooms with garlic and thyme

20g butter
200g chestnut mushrooms sliced
1 clove garlic finely chopped
A few sprigs thyme finely chopped
50ml double cream
Salt and pepper to season

In a pan add the butter and allow to melt
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 mins until nicely coloured
Add the thyme and cream
Allow the mixture to reduce until it is nice and thick

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