My take on pancakes and for once not a single lemon in sight!
With Shrove Tuesday almost upon us (4th March), I’ve become obsessed with finding the perfect pancake batter. And a must have more filling (think savoury, enough for a proper lunch).
This week, my timing, for once, has been good. Spring clean (and house clear out) are also in progress. And the rediscovery of one of my favourite cookbooks (from way back student days), Gail Duff’s Vegetarian Cookbook, has given me some inspiration for the perfect savoury pancake.
Duff’s book is now sadly out of print, but it’s well worth scouring the internet and second-hand bookshops for a copy. There are no glossy pictures, but the book is dense with good solid recipes and some very creative dishes.
My current favourite is a savoury pancake with spring onion and Gruyère filling.
How to make the perfect pancake….
For the basic pancake mix, you will need
- 225gr flour (Duff recommends Buckwheat, but plain is just fine too).
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pt semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tbs olive oil or melted butter
- a small knob of butter or half tablespoon of olive oil for frying each pancake
This should make enough for 8 pancakes. You can easily half the quantities. Any unused batter will keep in the fridge for tea/the next day. Alternatively, you can make the pancakes up, put grease-proof paper between them and wrap them in foil and keep in the fridge, then simply warm them up in a preheated oven for ten minutes (Gas Mark 6, 200 C) the next day.
For the spring onion and cheese filling you will need
- 24 spring onions
- 25gr butter
- 350gr grated hard cheese, Gruyère is good, but cheddar also works.
To make the spring onion and cheese filled savoury pancakes, here’s what you do…
First, prepare the filling.
- Wash the spring onions, top and tail and chop into small pieces.
- Grate the cheese.
- Fry the spring onions in the butter until they start to wilt, then remove from the heat using a slotted spoon.
- Mix the spring onions with the grated cheese.
Then make the perfect pancake mix
- Into a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour. Add the salt.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour. Add the egg and egg yolk slowly, folding in the flour from the sides. Stir vigorously, in small circles at first.
- Add the oil or molten butter, keep stirring, then gradually add the milk and beat hard. Keep beating until smooth and bubbles form on the surface.
- Leave the batter mix to stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat up the pan (it should be medium-hot), add the butter/oil for frying. Personally, I love my special non-stick pancake pan (flatter than a regular frying pan but OH says I’m just a kitchen gadget freak). Make sure the surface of the pan is coated all over, then pour in two tablespoonfuls of the batter mix. Very quickly slide or angle the pan so that the batter covers all of the surface thinly and evenly. It should have a lacy edge.
- Fry the batter until it starts to bubble or the top is set (the underside should have started to turn brown in places). Then turn with a fish slice or flip.
- Brown the other side (the edges should be just slightly crisp), remove and put on a plate.
- Add a handful of the cheese and spring onion mix. Fold the pancake over or just eat it as it is. Repeat for however many pancakes you want.You can, of course, reduce the quantities for the filling and have a savoury pancake followed by a more traditional one…why not go for pancake overload next Tuesday. Treat yourself to a savoury one for lunch and get out the lemon and sugar for dessert!
If you’re wondering what to do with the spare egg whites, check out these suggestions from the Sprouting Seed.
Joining with Honest Mum’s #TastyTuesday. Joining too with a Mummytoo’s #RecipeoftheWeek.