Classic English pancakes, or crÍpes, are light and delicious and never to be confused with the heavier American pancakes.
They should also be enjoyed whenever you fancy them and not just reserved for Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day). This mixture makes about 9 or 10 pancakes and does not need to stand after mixing. I use a dedicated crÍpe pan that I never wash, but just wipe clean with kitchen towel.
110g plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
275ml milk Ė I find that semi-skimmed works best
Butter for cooking the pancakes
Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre, break in the eggs and whisk them into the flour. I find a balloon whisk works fine for me.
Gradually add the milk, incorporating the other ingredients as you go. The batter is ready when there are no lumps left and the liquid is the consistency of thin cream. Transfer the batter to a pouring jug for making the pancakes.
Heat your pan, add the butter and melt it, but be careful that it doesnít burn. Turn the heat down to medium and swirl in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan.
After about 30 seconds you should see it starting to colour a little at the outer edges, and if it lifts away from the pan with the help of a palette knife you will know that itís ready to turn (or toss).
Flip it over and cook the other side for another half minute before sliding onto a serving plate.
I tend to find a queue of people with plates standing next to me in my kitchen, so we eat them hot off the hob. If you wish to prepare them in advance, place a plate over a pan of simmering water and add each crÍpe as it cooks, separating them with tin foil.
Everybody has their favourite way of eating pancakes. We tend to have an assortment of fillings ready. The crÍpes can be sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice and golden caster sugar and folded twice into triangles; topped with some black cherry jam and rolled up like a giant cigar; served with maple syrup and whipped cream; sprinkled with chocolate powder and folded so that the chocolate melts.
I love to top them with a knob of butter whilst still in the pan, spread the melted butter over the crÍpe, slide onto a plate and sprinkle with some golden caster sugar and then fold twice for a toffee pancake.