Pancake day, traditionally known as Shrove Tuesday, is the day preceding Ash Wednesday signalling the beginning of Lent. It is the day to eat all the rich foods in the house before the ritual fasting of Lent begins. Unlike the modern day, rich foods in a traditional household would have consisted of sugar, fat, flour and eggs. Now I can't imagine in the 15th century (first records of pancake day and pancake tossing) they cared about intolerances or that a need for gluten and dairy free existed but, fast forward a few hundred years, or a wee bit more, and there is most definitely a need. Whether intolerances existed all those years ago or are a modern day phenomenon is an argument for another day, another post. Today is just about the pancakes.
It seems over this last six months I have given up a lot of the rich foods that I ate in my life pre-Fodmaps. So, I am in no way going to be giving anything up for Lent or suggesting anybody else does for that matter. Instead, I am going to celebrate the foods I can still enjoy with a few minor adjustments and with the aid of some brilliant free from ingredients. Just because some of us have to eat free from wheat, gluten or dairy doesn't mean our pancake day needs to be free from pancakes.
For eight Pancakes.
- Sift the flour and the xanthan gum into a large bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Make a well in the flour and crack in the eggs. Whisk well.
- Then slowly add the milk and water bit by bit, whisking all the time.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
- Add 2tbsps to the batter and whisk, whilst reserving the rest for the pancake pan.
- Once the batter is smooth, leave to rest for five minutes.
- Over a high heat, heat your pancake or frying pan. Once hot turn stove down to a medium heat.
- Using a piece of kitchen towel, wipe some of the melted butter around the pan.
- Ladle the batter into the middle of the pan allowing the batter to cover the base of the pan, leave until the outer edges are curling and slightly brown should take about a minute.
- Aim the pan slightly down and away from your body and with a flick of your wrist toss the pancake.
- If tossing isn't for you, simply, using a spatula carefully flip your pancake. The second side should take only 30 secs.
Once cooked, slide onto your plate and serve as you wish.
My favourites, rolled with freshly squeezed lemon and sugar,
or folded and drizzled with hot chocolate sauce.
N.B. Don't worry, the first one is always rubbish. Pancake pans are one of the best things ever, anybody can toss a pancake with one of these. And, of course it is the cooks right to eat one pancake for every pancake they cook for another.