Flipping lovely pancakes

Fri 13 Feb 2015 @ 16:32
Author Jamie Magazine

As the days are finally starting to get a bit longer and the first daffodils have begun burst through, Pancake Day comes as a welcome reminder that winter's almost over. Shrove Tuesday, coming from the word 'shrive' meaning 'confess', falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, known in the Christian calendar to mark the first day of lent. Traditionally, pancakes were eaten because they used up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before 40 days of fasting and sacrifice began in the run up to Easter.

Pancake races are thought to have originated in 1445 when a housewife in Onley, Buckinghamshire was so flipping busy with her pancakes that she didn't notice the church bells ringing. In her haste to make it to the church on time that she ran out of the house with the pancake still in its frying pan. Thousands of years later, people don an apron and leg it, pan in hand, usually to a church.

Although these traditions feel quintessentially British, pancakes themselves have hundreds of variations that are eaten all over the world. These chickpea flour pancakes with chutney from renowned Indian chef Atul Kochhar are typically enjoyed at Diwali - they're a brilliant way to mix up your usual lemon-and-sugar versions.

Flipping may seem an essential part of shrove Tuesday, but these Dutch baby pancakes are cooked in the oven - it gives them a lovely pillowy soft texture that works a treat with juicy roasted plums. We also love these French-inspired buckwheat crépes with calvados, which are also gluten-free. Like things a bit fluffier? Try these American-style pancakes with blueberries - whisking the egg whites makes them beautiful and light.

Of course, classic sweet pancakes with your favourite topping have their place, but if you really want to go all out, make pancakes for both your main course too - these savoury ones use leftover squash and are finished with a grating of parmesan for a hearty veggie main course. Or, why not go for the ultimate pancake day celebration - a crepe cake! We dare anyone not to love this indulgent dessert with pecans and caramelised pancetta.

Whether you're keeping it traditional or mixing things up this pancake day, have a flipping great time, people!

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