Fat Tuesday? No, just pancake day
I knew that pancake day was based on the custom of using up fattening foods ahead of Lent, but realised I had no idea why it was called Shrove Tuesday.
It was time for a little light internet research. I learnt that 'shrove' comes from an old middle English word 'shriven', which means to go to confession to say sorry for the bad things you have done. I also discovered that in France Shrove Tuesday is called Mardi Gras, literally Fat Tuesday, referring to using up fattening foods ahead of Lent starting on Ash Wednesday.
I love this descriptive version of pancake day. It sounds so much more celebratory, so French! In honour of my new knowledge I decided to make a version of Crêpe Suzette. I have always wanted to make these, but by the time I have made a batch of pancakes I can barely be bothered to do anything else. I resolved to do something a little bit more fancy than usual, but still didn't want to make a huge effort.
I settled on a simplified orange sauce with a base of Yaffle House Orange + Bay Vinegar. I did get a little bit flash with a garnish of caramelised orange slices, but these lovely pancakes would have tasted just as great without them so feel free to ignore them. Similarly with the alcohol, go with it or leave it out.
Makes approx 8 pancakes, two each for 4 people
120g plain flour
220ml semi-skimmed milk
25g butter, melted
Pinch of salt
Butter and oil to cook the pancakes
4 tbsp Yaffle House Orange + Bay Vinegar
Juice of an orange
2 tbsp brandy or Grand Marnier (optional)
To decorate (optional):
1 orange peeled with a knife and sliced widthways
If you are making the caramelised orange slices, do this first:
Heat grill to high
Put the orange slices on a baking sheet
Sprinkle over a good coating of icing sugar
Put the baking tray under the grill until the oranges are nicely caramelised (keep a close eye on them, they will go from pale to burnt in a flash!)
Leave to one side until the pancakes and sauce are ready to serve.
Mix the eggs, milk and water gradually into the flour to ensure no lumps
Add the melted butter and salt, mix again
Heat a little oil and butter in a non-stick pan
Add enough pancake batter to coat the bottom of the pan
Cook until lightly browned on the bottom then flip and cook the other side
Stack cooked pancakes on a plate separated with greaseproof paper (you can make the pancakes in advance and reheat when you need them)
Continue until all the batter is used up
When you are ready to serve, fold the pancakes in half then into quarters to make triangles and arrange on plates
Add all the sauce ingredients to the pan you cooked tha pancakes in and turn the heat to low
As soon as the sauce starts to bubble, pour over the pancakes, add the caramelised orange slices if you have made them, and serve.
Enjoy your Fat Tuesday!