Pancake Day

Happy belated Pancake Day!

Although I would not classify myself as religious, I will enthusiastically use any excuse to celebrate a day with food. Fond memories take me back to crispy edged crêpes sprinkled with crunchy white sugar and doused with lemon juice after school. Eaten straight from the hob whilst we waited for the next swirl of batter to hit the pan.

Although I still enjoy a thin pancake with a simple lemon and sugar topping, now I am in charge of my own pancake day I like to rebel and explore the endless possibilities of a gloriously thick pancake batter. Tuesday night’s festivities centred around warm gingerbread pancakes, stacked high with golden, crispy bacon and drizzled with copious amounts of maple syrup. The dish was a comfortingly spiced, sweet and salty homage to Shrove Tuesday. Thanks must go to my friends for hosting me in their kitchen and plying me with numerous G&Ts, red wine and great company.

As my friend is slightly lactose intolerant we used lactose free milk but normal milk would of course be fine. We also toyed with the idea of using almond milk and cutting out the sugar which I’m sure would work equally well.

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Gingerbread Pancakes with Streaky Bacon and Maple Syrup

Adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe

Ingredients

225g self-raising flour
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 tsp baking power
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp table salt
½ lemon, zest finely grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml  lactose free milk
1 large egg
Sunflower Oil to grease your pan
12 slices of smoked streaky bacon

To serve

As much maple syrup as you can handle.

Preheat the oven to 100°C (to keep your pancakes warm). Line a tray with foil and lay out your bacon. Turn the grill on to a medium heat.

In a bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk to form a smooth, thick batter. Whisk in the egg and turn your frying pan on to a medium heat.

Place your bacon under the grill, turning after 5 minutes.

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Wipe your frying pan with a teaspoon of oil on some kitchen paper. Using a ladle, slowly pour tablespoons of the batter into your pancake pan. The pancakes are ready to turn once little bubbles have appeared all over the surface.

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Continue to cook your pancakes in batches of three (or whatever best fits your pan). Keeping them warm in your low oven.

Keep an eye on your bacon, it should be golden and completely crisp after around 10 minutes.

Once you have used up all of the batter, pile the pancakes onto plates and delicately top with a stack of streaky bacon. Pour generously with maple syrup and indulge.

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