We all know what today is and if you don't, let me tell you . . . it's PANCAKE DAY, or Shrove Tuesday . . . the last day before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. It's a day of penitance to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.
Lent is a time of abstinence . . . a time where most Christians give something up to show their dedication to the Lord . . . a time where they show repentance for their misdeeds by then abstaining from certain pleasures. Shrove Tuesday is the chance to use up some of the things that historically were considered verbotten during lent . . . things like eggs, milky foods, fish, meat etc. Some people give up chocolate. Other's give up beer. It's a form of penance I guess.
We don't really do that in my church, but it doesn't stop us from enjoying pancake day. I've enjoyed pancake day ever since I was a little child! That was the one day of the year that my mother would cook us pancakes. We never had them at any other time, and on pancake day we could have our fill. My poor mom . . . we had her cooking pancakes for what must have seemed like forever, because we just could not get enough of them!
Over here in the UK, the pancakes are a lot different than they are in North America. North American Pancakes are light and fluffy . . . pancakes here in the British Isles are more like crepes. Traditionally they are eaten by sprinkling them with sugar and fresh lemon juice, and I have to confess that they are very, very good that way.
In different places throughout the UK there will be celebrations and pancake races. The aim of a pancake race is to run as fast as you can while tossing a pancake in a frying pan! Some races have teams doing a relay, some have competitors in fancy dress, but all are great fun to watch.
There won't be any races in this house . . . well, perhaps one race to see how fast we can get to the table so that we can scarf down these tasty babies! Traditional British pancakes . . . or crepes . . . folded over a delicious fruity raspberry filling and served with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!
Anyone for seconds?? (Recipe adapted from the March 2012 issue of Good to Know Recipes.)
*Honey and Raspberry Pancakes*
Pancake day has NEVER tasted better.
75g plain flour (12 TBS)
pinch of salt
2 medium free range eggs
200ml milk (6.76 fluid ounces, or 13 1/2 TBS)
6 TBS runny honey
a light flavoured oil for cooking
2 TBS whiskey, Cointreau or Orange Juice (you decide)
350g raspberries (Thawed and drained if frozen) (about 2 1/2 cups)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to serve
Place the flour, salt and eggs into a large beaker. Add half of the milk and whisk vigorously until smooth and lump free. Whisk in the remaining milk and 2 TBS of the honey, until smooth and thoroughly amalgamated.
Heat a 12 inch nonstick frying pan until hot. Drizzle a little oil over the centre and then wipe around with a bit of kitchen paper toweling. Pour in 1/4 of the pancake batter, swirling it to spread it thinly to cover the base of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or so until the top of the pancake is set and the bottom golden brown. Flip over and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes until golden on the other side. Transfer to a warm plate. Repeat until you have made 4 pancakes, placing greaseproof paper in between each one. Keep warm while you make the raspberry filling.
Melt the remaining 4 TBS of honey in the frying pan along with the whiskey, cointreau or orange juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Add the fruit and heat through for one minute, stirring gently to coat the berries with the sauce.
To serve, place a pancake on each of 4 dessert plates. Divide the berry mixture between each, saving back a bit of the juices. Fold each pancake into quarters. Top with a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream and drizzle each with some of the remaining juices. Enjoy!