Today is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, also known as pancake day! It’s the day before the start of Lent, the build up to Easter. Lent was traditionally a time of fasting so all the fat in the house needed to be used up. That’s what gave it the name Mardi (Tuesday) Gras (Fat). It’s also why we make pancakes because the recipe uses up fatty foods like eggs and milk, and sugar too because fasting meant giving up sweet things.
How to make pancakes:
4oz (110g) Flour
10floz (275ml) Milk
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and break the eggs into another bowl or a jug then beat them
Mix the flour and eggs to a smooth paste using a fork of whisk, then slowly add the milk bit by bit whisking constantly. You want to avoid lumps so you need to whisk hard.
Heat a frying pan on a high heat (you want it good and hot) and add a little oil or butter. Use some kitchen paper towel to make sure all the pan is covered in a thin layer of fat and ladle in some batter. Tilt the pan to get the liquid batter to spread evenly and allow it to cook for a minute or so. When you shake the pan slightly a cooked pancake will be loose underneath. Flip it with a spatula or, if you’re brave, toss it to allow the other side to cook.
You can have sweet or savory fillings for your pancakes – here are some ideas:
Ham and cheese
Sugar and lemon juice
Caramel sauce and chocolate sauce (this is known as a carachoc in France, pronounced ca-ra-shock)