English Pancakes

I would like to dedicate today’s post to my mum who passed away 13 years ago this week and also, to my brother who passed away 29 years ago this week. They were both incredible people and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of them. They were very much alike, generous, humorous, sensitive and they always had a smile on their face. I miss them tremendously but always want to celebrate their life because they were such happy people. May God forgive their sins and grant them a place in Paradise.

Since I have started this blog memoir, of course, my mum has already made a few appearances. That’s because she’s the one who had to make all the hair brained requests I had for food. I would come home with a new bee in my bonnet for some food or pudding I had tried that week or seen on TV. She may not have known what it was when I first told her, but she managed to find a recipe and get it done. Poor Mum, she also had my dad on her case, wanting such and such pasta he had eaten in Rome or some salad he had eaten in Athens! A lot of my love for cooking, baking and entertaining comes from her I think, and some of it comes from just being Hyderabadi…we love to eat…all the time. 

So, onto the English pancakes. The other day, my husband and I were driving home when I noticed the programme sign for the church that is around the corner. I have always suspected that this church is English, because I noticed the English flag; the flag of St George, flying high on the flag post outside. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw what the programmes were that week; Tuesday night they were going to have a “Pancake Supper.” Then, it suddenly dawned on me that it was Pancake Tuesday that day! Oh, how I loved Pancake Day in England. Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Lent. During Lent, many people of the Christian faith fast and give up something important to them as penance. The Pancake Tuesday is the tradition of using up all the decadent goodies of sugar, butter and eggs by making pancakes the day before Lent starts.

My family never observed Lent, because we are Muslims, but I did go to a Catholic school in England and knew all about Christian traditions. However, it didn’t matter what religious affiliation you were, we all enjoyed Pancake Tuesday! I don’t know if my mum ever realised why I requested pancakes, all of a sudden, every year around March, but she made them. Also, since I didn’t observe Lent, I made her make them all week long instead of just Tuesday! 

Well, after passing that church sign, I was flooded with all these fond memories of my mum and pancakes. The pancakes memories then turned to pancake cravings to the point that I couldn’t think straight. So, I made pancakes, the traditional English ones that are thinner than American but thicker than a crepe, sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice. Oh…..my…..goodness.

WARNING: Pancake photography may produce severe cravings.

English Pancakes

1 cup/150g all purpose/plain flour
1 organic or free range, large egg
1 1/2 cups/350ml organic milk
pinch of salt
knob of butter (a couple of tablespoons for buttering pan)

To serve:
lemon and organic raw sugar/caster sugar
organic fruit jam or preserves
fresh fruit

Place flour and salt in a bowl and make well in the centre.
Crack the egg into the well and mix.
Pour in the milk and whisk till the all the lumps are out
and there is a smooth batter.
Heat a non stick medium size pan (I use my All Clad non stick 8″)
on medium high heat.
Rub the butter around the pan (don’t use non stick spray-
it destroys your pans)
Can use oil if you like, but I like the taste and the brown colour 
that butter provides.
Pour in 1/4 cup/59ml of the batter into the pan and swirl around.
Takes about 2 minutes to get one side cooked, watch for the top of the
pancake, once it looks dry, flip it over and cook other side for a minute.
Repeat for the rest of the batter.
This makes about 8 medium size pancakes.

The traditional way to serve these is with lemon and sugar.
However, you can add what you like.
My kids ate some with lemon and sugar and some with Nutella
They were really good with Nutella.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I have over the years. I am happy to be keeping my mum’s tradition now by making these pancakes for my kids. Although, they aren’t the ones bugging me to make them….it’s me craving them, but I think it’s a win-win scenario and everyone is happy.