Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Pancake or Shrove Tuesday marks the day before Lent begins and is celebrated throughout Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. Pancakes are an ancient food dating back to Roman Times and the history of flipping or tossing the pancake can be traced back as far as the 15th century when it appeared in cookery books. Traditionally in Ireland, people used up their supplies of fresh eggs, milk and butter to cook up a feast of pancakes before the Lenten Fast began. Eggs are a main ingredient in pancakes and they are packed with goodness, are great value for money and can be cooked in many different ways. Log on to www.eggs.ie for recipes and information about eggs.Pancakes are a great treat, they are inexpensive to make and can be served to suit every taste and as a breakfast, main course or dessert. In the US they are a main breakfast food, the Dutch like to fill their pancakes with savoury fillings as a main course and French crepes make a delicious dessert served with a variety of sweet sauces. The traditional Irish pancake is served with butter, lemon juice and sugar or honey. They can also be served with maple syrup, fresh fruit, yogurt and literally hundreds of different sweet and savoury fillings.

Pancake Recipe
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
300 ml milk
1 tablsp. melted butter or sunflower oil
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg into the well, add the melted butter or oil and half the milk. Gradually draw the flour into the liquid by stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated, then beat well to make a smooth batter. Stir in the remaining milk. Alternatively, beat all the ingredients together for 1 minute in a blender or food processor. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes, stir again before using.

To make the pancakes, heat a small heavy-based frying until very hot and then turn the heat down to medium. Lightly grease with oil and then ladle in enough batter to coat the base of the pan thinly (about 2 tablsp.), tilting the pan so the mixture spreads evenly. Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes or until the batter looks dry on the top and begins to brown at the edges. Flip the pancake over with a palette knife or fish slice and cook the second side. Turn onto a plate, smear with a little butter, sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice – enjoy! To serve: Add Butter, Caster sugar, Lemon juice to suit your taste.

Warm Pancakes with Berries and Maple Syrup
Serves 4
Makes 8 pancakes approx.
150g (6 oz) plain flour
1 teasp. baking powder
1 tablesp sugar
2 eggs
1 tablesp. Greek style yoghurt
Butter for cooking
To Cook
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in the food processor. Whiz to mix well. Add the eggs, yoghurt and enough milk to make a thick, but not too thick batter. Heat a knob of butter on a non-stick pan. Take spoonfuls of the batter and cook on the hot pan for 3-4 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Keep warm. Serve with berries sprinkled with caster sugar or any other fruit, and maple syrup. A spoonful of Greek style yoghurt would also be very good.

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes: Ingredients
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
* 2 extra-large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* Unsalted butter
* 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
* Pure maple syrup

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

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