Recipes: Could these be the best pancakes ever?

Looking for some Pancake Tuesday recipes for the week ahead? Di Curtin has a sweet and savoury option
Recipes: Could these be the best pancakes ever?

Chocolate Banana Pancakes by Di Curtin

SPRING’S annual pancake fest is almost upon us! Tuesday is the day the pancake pan will come out in many households and everyone gets flipping happy with the batter mix!

Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday as it’s officially known, falls the day before Ash Wednesday, heralding the start of Lenten abstinence.

In olden times, ancient church rules during the Lenten season dictated frugal eating of just one small meal per day, consisting of only the simplest ingredients. Pancakes soon became the traditional meal of Shrove Tuesday, as ingenious housewives of the day, tasked with using up all the rich foods in the larder, utilised eggs and milk to make a rich batter for a fine feast of pancakes.

Whilst the rules for Lenten eating have been relaxed in modern times, a blow out on pancakes remains a traditional favourite on Pancake Tuesday.

You can eat your pancakes warm from the pan, with the usual squeeze of lemon and sprinkling of sugar, as they would have done back in the day. But this weekend, I’m getting creative with two pancake recipes that provide a filling savoury main course and a super indulgent dessert!

The main features classic pancakes filled with ham, cream cheese and spinach, then layered in a rich tomato sauce before baking in the oven. Golden and bubbling from the oven, this can be served as a sustaining family meal.

A mixed leaf salad on the side is a perfect accompaniment for lighter — and you might want a bowl of crispy fries to dip into the yummy tomato sauce as well!

Getting seriously indulgent for dessert, with a chocolate batter for American style pancakes, stacked with ripe banana and maple syrup, finished with grated dark chocolate. All you need is some whipped cream to finish this heavenly pancake pudding! Have a flipping great Pancake Tuesday!

Savoury Hame, Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancake Bake by Di Curtin.
Savoury Hame, Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancake Bake by Di Curtin.

HAM, SPINACH AND CREAM CHEESE PANCAKE BAKE 

Ingredients (Makes 8 large pancakes For the pancakes)

200g plain flour 

Pinch of salt 

2 eggs 

600mls milk 

2 tbsp melted butter 

For the sauce:

2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with herbs 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the filling:

8 slices of ham 

8 tbsp cream cheese 

8 small handfuls baby spinach leaves, rinsed and stalks removed 

2 tbsp grated cheddar for topping

Method:

  •  Sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Crack in eggs and add a little milk from measure.
  • Start to whisk the liquids into the flour.
  • Gradually add remaining milk, whisking to a smooth batter.
  • Whisk in the melted butter.
  • To cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush with a little oil.
  • Add a ladle of mix to the heated pan and swirl to cover base thinly.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes or till pancake is set and surface is beginning to bubble.
  • Toss or flip over with a spatula, to cook other side.
  • Slide out onto a plate and cover with film.
  • Repeat process with remaining batter to make 8 pancakes, layering on plate with film in between to stop them sticking.
  • Place chopped tomatoes in a pan with olive oil and seasoning.
  • Bring to bubbling. Remove from heat. Spoon half the sauce in the base of an ovenproof dish.

CHOCOLATE BANANA PANCAKE STACKS

Ingredients (Serves 4)

150g self raising flour 

2 tbsp cocoa powder 

1 good tsp baking powder 

1-2tbsp sugar, to taste 

1 large fresh free range egg 

1 tsp coffee essence (optional) 

150mls milk 

1 tbsp melted butter 

4 ripe bananas, sliced 

Maple syrup to taste 

25g grated dark chocolate to serve 

Method:

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir in sugar.
  • Add egg, coffee essence and a little milk from the measure.
  • Start to whisk together. Gradually add remaining milk to make a thickish batter.
  • Stir in melted butter.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush lightly with oil.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of mix onto pan to make small circles, spacing well apart.
  • When the surface starts to bubble and pancakes are puffing up, flip to cook other sides.
  • Slide out onto a warm plate and cover with film Keep warm whilst making remaining pancakes.
  • To serve, layer pancakes on four warmed plates, with banana slices and maple syrup between.
  • Finish with banana slices.
  • Decorate with grated dark chocolate. Serve with whipped cream.

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