I’ve been gorging on American pancakes while visiting the US last week, but I think I still have some room left for more on this traditional Pancake Tuesday. I want to share my foolproof recipe for pancakes with you today, but first, did you ever wonder why this day is also known as Shrove Tuesday?
The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of confession and doing penance. The celebratory aspect of the day was associated with releasing high spirits before the somber season of Lent. The tradition of making pancakes on this day comes from the tradition of a last feast with ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent. So now you know!
Right, back to my pancake recipe. There are so many variations out there but this is my recipe for my favourite blueberry pancakes. I use self raising flour to make nice fluffy american style pancakes (plain flour will make flatter more crepe like pancakes). It doesn’t get much simpler than this as there is no weighing of ingredients. The only thing to remember is to make sure you use the same cup measurement of the flour and the milk.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 egg
- Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the milk and egg. Whisk all the ingredients together until you achieve a nice smooth batter consistency. Then I add in a handful of blueberries to the mix.
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 or a little butter and then ladle in enough batter – depending on the size you want the pancake to be, 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. The blueberries will break up slightly and ooze into the mixture which makes it all the more delicious.
I like to drizzle mine with pure maple syrup and add some slices of banana. Yum.