Patience is the secret to the perfect pancake recipe. But why do we eat pancakes anyway on Shrove Tuesday? In Christian tradition, the 40 days before Easter known as Lent mark the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. Lent starts tomorrow, with Ash Wednesday, when penitents have a cross of ashes placed on their forehead at church services.
Christians would mark Lent with prayers and fasting, abstaining from a whole range of foods, including meat, eggs, fish, fats and milk. In continental European countries they use up the last of the flour and eggs by throwing them at the crowds celebrating Carnival. In waste-not/want-not Britain we use them to make pancakes.
And so here’s our simple recipe for the perfect pancakes. You need 110g plain flour and a pinch of salt, sieved into a bowl. Into this break two large eggs and start whisking. Gradually add 275ml milk (or milk and water), whisking all the time. Leave to stand; that’s the patient bit.
Then get your frying pan really hot, just smeared with butter, and add the mixture, about two tablespoons for each pancake, swirl from side to side, and then toss or flip – if you dare. We serve ours with lemon juice and sugar, or maple syrup. Let us know what are your favourite fillings for next time!