My pancakes are legendary. Okay, okay it is not my recipe, but my Mum’s. This is the pancake recipe I grew up with and absolutely love. My siblings, friends and cousins who have spent weekends and holidays in my house will testify. Her pancakes taste and smell like really thin cakes. Mummy’s recipe was my pancake view of the world, well into my adult years, and I simply assumed all pancakes must taste like that. Major naivety eh? I have given this recipe to many friends who loved it, and for one of them, she must make Aunty Dunni’s pancakes for her girls every week, or else, they’ll hound her about it. Lol. I am happy to be sharing it with the world today. It is nothing fancy, just a great combination of spices. Pancakes are way more than simple batter. They should smell great and taste great. There is an American-European divide when it gets to pancakes. Americans make theirs thick, while Europeans tend to go the paper-thin French style route called Crêpes. I have never liked American pancakes, apologies to all Americans reading this. I prefer Crepes any day. Thin pancakes with crunchy crispy edges, brings back memories of fun breakfast times in childhood.
My mum would wake up early on Saturday morning, mix the batter in a blender and set aside in the fridge. Another naive assumption. I thought everyone made pancake batter in a blender. I never knew people made it by hand. Anytime I mentioned making pancake batter in a blender, people gave me weird looks. Blender, are you kidding me, why not make it by hand. My response has always been, why make it by hand? Hand mixing and mixing to get rid of lumps. It only takes seconds to make it in a blender. So far, no one has complained and I hope I am introducing something new to you today. Mummy’s pancakes are so good, we could go through 3 blender jugs of batter in one breakfast. Each of us fighting for who got the first one, who got the last one, how many each person had, had. Oh dear, the arguments were hilarious.
Because crepes are so light, you can eat 10 and not realise it. Especially as you will probably not get to eat the 10 at a stretch. As each crepe was done, it was dished straight into a plate and consumed in seconds. You had to wait your turn again after everyone else had, had at least one, hence the squabbling – “it is my turn not yours”, “you just had yours 2 minutes ago”, “it is not fair mummy”, “Ola is cheating – as the eldest, I capitalised on this”, “okay let us have 2 crepes at once”. It was the one time no one left the kitchen. We all stood there eagerly awaiting the hot pancakes. No one dared to leave, so you didn’t miss out and others got to eat more than you. At times, Mummy got tired of the squabbling and told us to line our plates up. It was a funny sight to see plates arranged in a row. You picked yours when it was your turn and took your plate to the back of the queue to line up again. Good times. Thanks mummy.
Today, I am bringing some of that fun, magic and precious memories for you and your family (especially my readers who have children) with this recipe. Get out the blender people, you are going to be making batches and batches of this, if you don’t end up bullying your family and cheating by eating it straight from the pan. Lol. I will be amending mummy’s recipe slightly by adding two extra ingredients thanks to Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith. It was a gamble that paid off. I was so scared of messing with a her recipe, thank goodness it paid off. So, here goes.
You will need
330g of plain flour – i measured 1 cup (250ml) + 1/3 cup of flour (80ml)
140g of sugar – i measured 1/3 + 1/4 (60ml) of sugar
1 cup of milk – i used semi skimmed milk
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper – dry pepper
2 pinches of ground nutmeg
a dash of vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter – an extra ingredient
zest of 1 orange – another extra ingredient
I ended up with 600ml of an aromatic, zesty, creamy and tasty lick the spoon batter. Lol….
1. Add all the liquid ingredients to the blender, followed by the dry ingredients except the flour and salt. Whizz in the blender for a few seconds. To zest an orange, you only need a grater. Lightly pass the orange across the grater. Only lightly, just to get the zest. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: if you apply pressure, you will get to the lower layer which is bitter. Use a toothpick or a fork to pick out the bits stuck to the grater.
2. Measure the flour and add to the blender in portions until you have run out of flour. Add a pinch of salt, and taste. Notice the difference the salt makes? ………..and that’s it. Simple eh? Saves you the trouble of mixing by hand doesn’t it? You have your batter ready in seconds.
Mummy’s Tip: mummy always let the batter rest in the fridge for 30 – 45mins, and it tastes better than frying immediately.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: Pour some oil into a small plastic container. This is to help you carefully pour drops of oil into the frying pan. You are going to need 2 drops, maximum 3 to coat the pan. The oil is to only coat the pan. Twirl the oil in the pan and turn it upside down. If oil drips out of the pan, you have added too much. Simply decant the excess drips back into the plastic container.
3. Once your pan is coated with oil, heat up the pan. It needs to be very hot, and you can test it by pouring a teaspoon of batter in the pan. Don’t worry, your first pancake may not be great, as the pan may not be hot enough. It takes experience to get a great first pancake so don’t beat yourself up about it. The next pancakes will turn out well as the pan will be hot enough.
4. Now to frying. To get really thin pancakes, you will need a ladle spoon. Great option gauging the volume of batter. Take about 3/4 of a ladle spoon of batter.
Tip into the pan, and as soon as the batter hits the pan tilt it to spread the batter around the pan to form a circle
make a bigger circle
5. Let it sit in the pan for about 30 seconds, any longer and it will burn, especially if the pan is very hot.As soon as you see the edges start to crisp up, flip it over.
6. Repeat the process from the first Tip above, until you have exhausted the batter. Remember to only add drops of oil, no more. If you want a more round pancake, fill the ladle with more batter tip into the pan and twirl around the the batter completely covers the pan.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: this I learnt from my mum. Despite a hot pan being the secret to a successful crepe, a too hot pan spells doom because the crepes will burn almost instantly. See below. To prevent this, vary the heat by turning the knob off and on. You can go on to make at least 2 pancakes with the heat off. You will know when you need to turn the heat back up when the next pancake takes longer to brown. This will be tedious for those of you with gas burners, so simply turn the heat down to the lowest and take the pan off the heat completely, rather than having to re-ignite too often.
………….all the batter exhausted
You can serve Crêpes with chocolate sauce, sugar or cream. This is very popular in Paris. They have these street Crêperie vans over there, who serve yummy crêpes made right in front of you on a hot skillet and served in paper. Deeeeelicious. I mean, the French invented Crêpes what do you expect. Lol
……………you could also garnish with a selection of fruits. The classic fruit-pancake combo is a choice of berries. I chose strawberries.
Disclaimer: I feel I have to add this. I will not be responsible for putting your kids into a sugar induced high. Lol. Enjoy!!!!
I hope you enjoy your Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast. Bon Appetite……..