Shrove Tuesday — otherwise known as Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras — will be celebrated on Tuesday 28th February, 2017. Pancake Tuesday is traditionally the day before Ash Wednesday, upon which Christians celebrate the final feast before the fasting time of Lent. People all over the world celebrate by eating pancakes on this day; they are the traditional choice of food because they are a way of using up rich, perishable foods such as milk and eggs.
There are two different types of pancake; the European crêpe and the American-style fluffy pancake. The crêpe is a flat, thin pancake generally cooked in a special frying pan, while an American pancake has a raising agent included and is therefore thicker and generally smaller than a crêpe.
Pancakes are one the most versatile dishes that a person can cook, and can be eaten all year round. However, Pancake Tuesday is the best day to celebrate all things pancake. Grab your ingredients, your favourite toppings and your frying pan and enjoy the celebrations.
All types of milk can be used depending on personal taste and/or dietary requirements, including whole, low fat, skimmed, almond and soya. However, it is said that buttermilk makes the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes.
Plain flour is the best flour to use for both crêpes and American pancakes. When making the American ones, simply add a teaspoon of baking powder instead of using self-raising flour as this makes the pancakes much fluffier. For a healthier option, using wholemeal flour will increase the nutritional value of the pancakes by increasing the fibre content. Coeliacs can use gluten-free plain flour.
Free range organic eggs are the best choice for making pancakes. Egg whites can be used on their own if a person is watching the fat content or cholesterol level of their food.
Pancakes are generally cooked on a frying pan or a special crêpe pan. If using a frying pan, make sure it is non-stick, clean and well-oiled before beginning to prevent the pancakes from sticking. A crêpe pan is a very thin pan that comes with a spreader (see above), allowing for the mixture to be spread as thinly as possible.
- Dust with caster sugar and add a squeeze of lemon juice
- Drizzle with honey and top with pecan nuts or chopped almonds
- Fresh blueberries and honey
- Fresh fruit with natural yoghurt or whipped cream
- Stewed apples, flavoured with cinnamon and a dollop of fresh cream
- Chocolate spread or chocolate chips with a scoop of ice cream
- Breakfast pancakes: bacon and maple syrup or bacon and eggs
- Diced chicken with salsa
- Cottage cheese and sliced pineapple
- Poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce
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