Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Nigella's Shrove Tuesday Pancakes (aka Crepes)
Happy Pancake Day! No, I'm not really that much of a foodie, but I did happen to see one attention-grabbing news headline this morning about IHOP giving away free short-stacks in honor of the occasion. I had no idea what Shrove Tuesday was, though, so I did a little research. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent, or the season of fasting and prayer. Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) has been traditionally known as the last day to feast and get in your sugar, fats and eggs, hence PANCAKES! Internationally, there are lots of versions of these tasty cakes: semla in Finland, which is a sweet bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream; malasadas in Madeira(and now Hawaii), which are sugar-coated round donuts; and for German Americans it's fastnacht, or fried potato dough served with dark corn syrup. One country with a long tradition of celebrating Pancake Day is the United Kingdom, where they've been known to not only eat lots of pancakes on this day, but also to have races, festivities, and a half-day holiday in honor of the occasion.
Nigella's Pancakes are the typical UK version, which I have been served every time I've gone to England. Nigella reminisces about eating them with lemon juice and sugar growing up, and tells how her children prefer theirs with Nutella. I made mine with a creamy lemon filling and berry syrup. I'd say these are great right from the plate, standing at the stove while you're working to replace the ones you've eaten....
SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKES
4 TBS butter, melted
2 cups flour
2 2/3 cups milk
Pour all ingredients into a blender, and whiz until completely combined. Heat a small, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a tiny amount of butter if you wish, though it's not necessary. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into hot pan and swirl to cover bottom of pan. Flip in about a minute, when golden, and cook on other side about 30 seconds. You can adjust the thickness of the pancake by adjusting the amount of batter you pour in; just make 'em how you like 'em. Fill with whatever your heart desires.
Lemon Cream Filling
In a bowl, whip up 1 cup of cream cheese with 1/2 jar lemon curd, some vanilla and a dash of nutmeg.
Put a small bag of frozen mixed berries in a saucepan, and add a cup of sugar, a spoonful of frozen orange juice concentrate and a splash of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until berries are breaking down. You can help the process along by either smashing the berries with a fork or using an immersion hand blender and blitzing everything.