Shrove Tuesday is upon us! Have you got your ingredients ready for this once-a-year feast?
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday (aka ‘Fat Tuesday’) is traditionally the day of using up rich foods before 40 days of fasting for Lent on Ash Wednesday.
And how do people celebrate?
Pancakes, of course! These are the perfect way to use up ingredients such as eggs, milk and butter before fasting – hence Pancake Day arose as a delicious way to celebrate before the lean 40 days of Lent.
Whatsmore, the ingredients for pancakes are said to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year: eggs for creation, flour for life, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity.
And while the notion of Pancake Day is relatively young, recipes for pancakes have been around since the 1400s. (And pancake tossing isn’t anything new either: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619). Are you pancake tossing skills up for it this year?).
The fundamentals of creating mouth-watering pancakes…
You need four basic ingredients to make traditional pancakes – flour, milk, eggs and salt. And if you want really, really good pancakes, use the best (i.e Sussex!) ingredients…
Basic Pancake Recipe:
120g plain flour
2 Sussex highest-welfare eggs
210ml of richly flavoured, non-homogenised Sussex milk
Traditionally made Sussex butter (to fry)
Mix the flour and salt together, and form a well. Crack in the eggs and mix well. In a separate container, combine the milk and water. Gradually stir into the flour/egg mixture until you achieve a creamy batter consistency. Let the mixture stand for 20-30 minutes.
When ready, heat a large frying pan and melt in a generous dab of butter, spreading to coat the entire pan. When hot, pour in some pancake mixture to cover the base evenly. Cook for a minute or less (depending on how hot your pan is!) and flip to brown the other side.
Serve and enjoy immediately, or continue cooking to enjoy a stack of delicious pancakes!
* The simplest topping may be lemon and sugar (this beautiful combination is a classic for a good reason – it’s divine!). Use unwaxed, organic lemons for a heavenly lemon aroma by grating a small amount of peel onto your pancakes or into your batter.
* Nutella/chocolate spread is a favourite for pancake toppings. But, step up the chocolate game by melting heavenly dark chocolate onto your pancakes for the ultimate sophisticated pancake treat.
* Maple or golden syrup is an utterly delicious and simple pancake topping but…
* …Sussex salted caramel is even better! (And, if you’re feeling indulgent, Sussex chocolate and amaretto salted caramel)
* A scoop of vanilla ice-cream (have you seen Caroline’s Dairy for out-of-this-world Sussex ice cream?) and stewed berries may be just the thing. Delicious!
* Or, looking for something a little healthier? Bio-live, ultra-creamy Sussex yogurt, raw Sussex honey and fruit go perfectly.
* Sweets not your thing? Go savoury! Bacon, eggs, sauteed mushrooms and greens and crumbled Sussex cheese make for perfect savoury pancakes…
Whatever your topping, why not adorn your pancakes with some Sussex flowers! Don’t forget to tag us in your gorgeous pancake creations! (@FinandFarm)
What are your favourite pancake toppings? Do you have any ideas to add? Let us know!
Image 1: 20080502_368_DSC_1463 by Adrian and Debra/ FLICKR (CC)
Image 2: IMG_5111 by snow/ FLICKR (CC)