It’s a toss-up... a savoury and sweet choice for Pancake Day

Ahead of Pancake Tuesday, on February 16, Di Curtin shares with us two very different recipes
It’s a toss-up... a savoury and sweet choice for Pancake Day

Crepes suzette.

IT’S that time of year again! You either love or hate making pancakes. If you’re part of the former brigade, who always gets it wrong and ends up with them stuck to the pan or broken mid-flip, I’m here to tell you it’s time to take heart and have another go!

There’s no need to resort to ready- made pancakes. With the right mix and a good non-stick pan, homemade fresh pancakes are a breeze.

I’ve used a classic pancake mix for this weekend’s dessert. The addition of melted butter in the mix makes the batter smooth and silky.

If you’re attempting to toss your pancakes, it’s all in the wrist action. 

A quick shake of the pan to make sure your pancake is loose then its a fast upward jerk of the wrist to get the pancake up and out of the pan and flipping onto the other side. Practice makes perfect! The first one may not go to plan — but that’s the cook’s perk!

For the main course, I’m going to introduce you to something a little different. A savoury pancake that makes a classy brunch or light lunch option, my delicious courgette pancakes topped with a poached or fried egg are perfect to satisfy that savoury taste. Really simple to make, these consist of just grated courgettes, flour, egg and a little milk and some seasoning.

Fried in little rounds, these can be topped with a poached egg and served with salad. No tossing required!

In Asia, courgette pancakes are spiced with chilli and served with a soy and garlic dipping sauce, so you could try that also with this recipe. Just add dried chilli flakes to taste to the basic mix and you’re up and running.

Now for the more traditional approach. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of lenten fasting. Housewives used up rich foods like eggs and milk to make pancakes before the fasting began in earnest.

My dessert of Crepes Suzette is a French twist on the basic pancake, (crepe is a fancy name for pancakes!) using a classic batter mix for the pancakes, which are, doused in orange sauce and liqueur or brandy, before flambeeing in the pan.

This old favourite used to be served in traditional French bistros of the 1970s, generally cooked at the table in front of diners for the wow factor as the flames leapt from the pan.

One of my favourite ways to serve pancakes — so get ready to go flipping crazy this Pancake Tuesday.

Courgette Pancakes by Di Curtin, a recipe that will go down well on Shrove Tuesday.
Courgette Pancakes by Di Curtin, a recipe that will go down well on Shrove Tuesday.

Courgette Pancakes with Fried Eggs

Ingredients

50g plain flour 

Pinch of salt 

1 fresh free range egg 

50mls milk 

2 medium courgettes 

Freshly ground black pepper 

To finish:

4 fresh free range eggs 

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (optional) 

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped 

16 cherry tomatoes, halved 

Method:

  • Sift flour into a bowl and add salt. Make a well in the centre and add beaten egg with a little milk.
  • Whisk together, adding milk a bit at a time, till you have a thickish, smooth batter.
  • Stir grated courgette into the batter with a fork, making sure the pieces are well mixed and evenly coated. Season with freshly ground black pepepr and salt if necessary.
  • Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan and add ladlefuls of mix in small rounds, spacing well apart. Do this in batches so they don’t stick together.
  • When browned and set on one side, flip them over with a fish slice to brown other side.
  • Stack on a warm plate, placing cling film between each pancake to stop them sticking together.
  • Reserve, keeping warm, while you make remaining pancakes. To serve, poach or fry 4 fresh free range eggs till whites are set and yolks are stoft.
  • Serve courgette pancakes on warm plates and top with Parmesan if using and cooked eggs. Scatter with spring onions and cherry tomatoes.
Crepes Suzette.
Crepes Suzette.

Crepes Suzette

Ingredients (makes 8 crepe sized pancakes)

For the pancakes:

100g plain flour 

Pinch of salt 

1 fresh free range egg 

300mls milk 

1 tbsp melted butter 

For the sauce 1 orange 

4 tbsp orange juice 

25g butter 

50mls orange juice 

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

 2 tbsp Grand Marnier Liqueur or brandy 

Method:

  • Sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Crack in egg and add a little milk from measure and whisk 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 crepe pan (small pancake pan) over medium heat and brush with a little oil.
  • Add a little 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 pancake out onto a plate and cover with film.
  • Repeat process with remaining batter, layering pancakes on plate with film in between to stop them sticking.
  • Fold the pancakes in half, then quarters.
  • Grate the zest from the orange and reserve. Peel orange and segment by cutting between membranes to remove just the flesh. Reserve.
  • Melt butter in a pan and add orange segments, orange juice and brown sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and bubble for a few seconds.
  • Add the pancakes in a single layer.
  • Cook for a moment to heat through, spooning the sauce over.
  • Add liqueur or brandy and tilt the pan to ignite with gas flame or with a lighter. Stand well back.
  • When the flames die down, serve pancakes on warmed plates with cream or ice cream.

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