Monday, May 23, 2011

A Procrastinator's Guide to Pancake Day

Mardi Gras also goes by the names "Shrove Tuesday" and more importantly, "Pancake Day."

Pancake Day falls annually on the Tuesday before Lent begins and is an opportunity to pig out on all the yummy things you won't be enjoying during the ritual 40-day fast. I didn't get around to this during Lent, but, I sampled several pancake day recipes provided by the UK's Guardian. Pancake Day is known as such in the UK where pancakes aren't eaten regularly (what a shame!). I used Gourmet Sleuth's gram conversion calculator to translate from the metric system into cups and tablespoons.

I started with Nigel Slater's crepes with apples, waited a few days, tried to burn some calories, and then moved on to Felicity Cloake's "Perfect Pancakes". I recommend watching Felicity's video BEFORE you make the pancakes as she voices some essential tips about temperature and pan diameter. I have yet to try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipes but I'm curious to know how his sweet potato pancakes turn out. Try them on your own and let me know!

I was so hungry by the time I finished cooking up Nigel Slater's pancakes that they were gone before I could grab the camera. Pictured is my feeble attempt at Felicity's perfect pancakes. As usual, I substituted regular flour with wheat flour. Both recipes involved some tweaking due to the approximate metric to US measurement conversion. Be sure to monitor the pan's temperature as well, as these crepes are more temperamental than their thicker and fluffier cousins from across the pond.

You may want to double Felicity's recipe. My first crepe was a failure: I didn't stir the batter before pouring, I didn't wait patiently until the pan was at the right temperature, and I was using too large a pan. Even despite these errors, my efforts yielded only 2 crepes. For both Nigel and Felicity's recipes, I topped mine with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice (a resident of Southern California, I borrowed a lemon from a neighbor's tree). These are definitely recipes I will have to revisit until perfection is achieved. The beauty of the perfect pancake is in the simplicity of the 3-ingredient recipe. Bon Appetit!


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