Monday, February 23, 2009

Shrove Tuesday

Monday 23 Feb 2009

Yes - tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day/Mardi Gras. The chances are that, yet again, it's snuck up on you and you're tootling around the internet for a recipe and pancake related ideas.

Last year I actually followed a recipe, and produced sweet crêpes, as found in Escoffier's Ma Cuisine. I also posted after the event.

This year, I'm not only posting my own recipe, I'm also letting you know about it in advance.

But first - the hints and tips.

It's better if you can make your batter a day in advance and leave it overnight in the fridge. I don't know why but it all seems to work better. In addition, this has the happy side effect of making it all seem like less work: literally, a few minutes tonight to make the batter, and then it's only the effort of making the crêpes tomorrow. The batter may separate out a bit overnight, but just give it a quick whisk before you start frying.

If you don't have a dedicated, well seasoned crêpe pan then use a non stick pan for frying your crêpes. Use plenty of butter (add to the pan between crêpes) and be prepared for the first one being a bit of a mess (again - I don't know why, that just seems to be the way things go).

Finally - if you make a plain crêpe mixture then consider making a little more. The crêpes freeze well (keep them separate with baking paper) and you can either eat them plain (defrost and then re-fry with some butter) or make a savoury dish (perhaps chicken with spinach and ricotta as a filling, topped with a Béchamel sauce and lashings of cheese, baked in the oven).

All you will need is 2 medium eggs, whisked. Add 1 cup of plain flour. Whisk - and do not be too fussed about getting out all the lumps. Finally, add milk to let down the mixture - I think I used about half a cup tonight but the exact amount you'll need will depend a lot on your flour. You want quite a runny batter as crêpes are thin, delicate little things: about the consistency of pouring cream.

And ... voilà - that's it! Once cooked top with whatever you fancy - sugar and lemon juice every time for me!
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2 Comments:

Blogger rich said...

My pancakes were PERFECT this year. Our kitchen was like a production line, with kids lined up next to the cooker, each clutching a plate.

Maple syrup is the topping of choice here.

6:37 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Rich - it must have been the year for it because I tossed our last pancake and it behaved itself perfectly!

12:49 pm  

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