Pancakes offer value for money and make filling, tasty puddings in a very short time. Savoury pancakes are equally as versatile; to create a useful quick supper or lunch dish. How thin or thick you make them depends on how you like them! The perfect pancake ‘should’ be thin, but, if you and yours prefer a thicker, more substantial type, that’s up to you.
Tossing pancakes is traditional and a bit of fun, but if your co-ordination isn’t brilliant make sure you make enough batter to replace the ones the dog gets…Thinner pancakes are much easier to toss than thick ones (so less wasteful if you’re not much of a juggler!)
Basic Pancake Batter (makes 8-10 pancakes)
- 125g (4½ oz) plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 300mls (11fl oz)milk
- A little oil, cooking fat, or lard for frying
- Pinch of salt
How to Make the Pancakes
Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl or measuring jug. Use a spoon to make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the beaten egg into the well. Next, pour in half the quantity of milk and whisk the mixture vigorously until you have a smooth, creamy-looking batter. Add the remaining milk and whisk some more. Leave the batter to stand for about an hour if possible.
Heat the oil or fat in a non-stick frying pan over moderate heat-until the pan and oil is quite hot but not smoking. Use a ladle to transfer enough batter to cover the base of the pan thinly. Or, if you have mixed the batter in a measuring jug pour it straight from that. Fry the pancake batter for about 60 seconds on one side. Give the pan a quick short shake, and if the pancake moves easily inside the pan, it’s ready to be flipped over.
Keep your wrist relaxed but maintain a firm grip on the handle of the pan.
Hold the pan slightly downwards away from you. One short sharp flip should send it hurtling up and flipping over-then landing back in the pan so the other side can be cooked. In theory. It does work with practice!
If you really don’t fancy the idea of tossing pancakes, use a non-scratch palette knife or fish slice to gently turn them. Simply slide the knife beneath the centre of the pancake then lift and rotate it. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds only.
Keeping Pancakes Hot
If you’re making pancakes for more than one person, either stack the cooked ones (uncovered) on a plate over a pan of hot water, or, on a hot plate in a cool oven. Use greaseproof paper between the layers to stop them sticking together.
Simple Sweet Pancake Fillings
- Sprinkle the cooked pancakes with sugar and lemon, or orange, juice. Roll them up before serving.
- Spread your Favourite Jam inside the pancake then roll it up and sprinkle with icing sugar.
- Fill the pancakes with ice cream just before serving and add Chocolate Sauce.
- Spread some honey on the inside of the pancake, then roll it up and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
- Use any fruit puree (hot or cold) that you fancy to fill the pancakes and finish off with a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt.
Savoury Pancake Fillings
Think wraps! Prepare your fillings before you cook the pancakes. Keep warm if serving hot. Cook the pancakes as before and keep them warm as recommended. Add the fillings and either serve immediately or sprinkle with grated cheese and grill for a few seconds.
- Use up leftover cooked meat as a filling – minced beef and grated cheddar is especially good!
- Corned beef and diced tomato with a dollop of chilli sauce works well, too.
- Steamed vegetables make a light accompaniment to a meal or a perfect snack.
- Diced cooked chicken with spring onions, cashew nuts and a splash of soy sauce transforms the humble pancake.
- Sliced cooked sausage and fried onion is a real winner for kids!
To make a family meal of your pancakes, do a selection of fillings and serve with salad and crusty bread, or a bowl of wild rice with pine seeds.