Shrove Tuesday marks the day of feasting before the 40 days of lent begin. It is traditional to eat sweet things on this day before giving them up for lent and nothing is more traditional than the pancake. Read on for recipes and a range of fillings with international influence. And there's options for vegans too!
Shrove Tuesday is a Christian celebration and it marks the traditional day of feasting before Ash Wednesday – the day when lent begins and bad habits (such as eating sweet things) is given up for a period of 40 days in the lead-up to Easter. Pancakes are traditionally eaten on this day as they can be made easily from leftover flour, eggs and butter before lent.
British pancake batter is much thinner than the batter of American pancakes and a little thicker than that of French crepes. In Britain, a classic pancake filling is simply lemon juice and sugar. But over the years, other nationalities have influenced pancakes, introducing a huge range of delicious flavours! Have a look at all the different fillings you could try and use our simple pancake recipe to make a delicious dinner or snack! And with just a few ingredients to worry about and a very short preparation and cooking time, pancakes are a very student-friendly food!
100g plain flour
a little butter to heat in the pan
Whisk the eggs and add a little milk and sieved flour, mixing well. Keep adding the milk and flour gradually till you have a runny mixture. The mixture should be thinner than cake mixture and run off a spoon, but not resemble something as thin as water! Check out some YouTube videos to help you if you’re concerned about consistency! Melt the butter in the pan and make sure it covers the whole surface. Pour some of the mixture into the centre of the pan and move the mixture round the pan till it touches every side. Fry and then flip to cook the other side. You have a pancake!
To make your pancake gluten free, use soy milk, but check the label to ensure the manufacturer doesn't include small amounts! Choose gluten free all purpose flour, or use almond flour instead. Follow this recipe with your gluten free ingredients.
Pancake recipe – vegan
125g all purpose flour
1 cup of dairy-free milk alternative (shout out to whole fat oat milk by Oatly!)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal and 3 tbsps hot water
a little coconut oil to heat in the pan
Mix the flaxseed with the water and leave for a few minutes until it is thick. Sift the flour in a bowl. Add the milk and the flax egg and mix well. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and then pour a little mixture into the centre of the pan, moving the pan around till the mixture touches all sides. Fry and then flip the pancake to cook the other side. You have a vegan pancake!
Now for the fillings...
I recommend a mouth-watering breakfast option that has Canadian and American roots. Whisk two eggs with a little milk, black pepper and salt and scramble in a saucepan. Fry or grill a few rashers of smoked bacon and add to the pancake with drizzles of maple syrup. Bliss!
And for dessert, I can’t say no to a delicious and very popular combination of chocolate spread and sliced bananas! I like to use Lindt or Malteser spread, but you could try Nutella or go for a green-friendly spread such Naturyo, which is palm oil free and also suitable for vegans. Another idea for vegans – head to M&S for their Plant Food hazelnut spread!
Take a look at my pancakes and have a go at making some of your own!
A tangy and refreshing recipe with Mexican influence. Mash the avocado in a bowl and add chopped cherry tomatoes, coriander, a chilli and some onion. Then add a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and mix well.
Maple Syrup and Berries
Try a mix of berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries make a heavenly partnership. Or you could choose one of your favourites and then drizzle with a good helping of maple syrup.
Blueberries and white chocolate with cream
There are two ways of doing this – you can add the blueberries to the pancake mix, although this works better with American pancakes that rise; or you can add a pile to the cooked pancake. Get some good quality white chocolate and melt it slowly in a bowl sat over a saucepan of hot water. Once it’s melted, pour lashings over the pancake and roll it up. Then add a thin drizzle of double cream. Make sure you go for a walk tomorrow … or ten! Switch the cream with Oatly’s tasty oat cream and the white chocolate with dairy-free chocolate to create a vegan-friendly alternative.
Simply add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to the pancake straight out of the pan and enjoy a wonderful mix of hot and cold sweets. You could also try this recipe with a different flavour of ice cream if you prefer. Swap the ice cream with Ben & Jerry’s Vegan cookie dough ice cream for a vegan-friendly version – you won’t regret it!
Banana and honey
You can often find this on a Thai breakfast menu and it’s just as popular with the locals as it is with tourists. It’s also probably the healthiest sweet option! You can either slice the banana and scatter over the pancake, or leave it whole and place it in the centre of the pancake. Give it a hearty drizzle of runny honey and tuck in! Swap with maple syrup or agave nectar for a vegan-friendly option.
The Netherlands are famous for their pancakes and for good reason! A traditional Dutch pancake is very similar to British in terms of the batter, but the classic filling is a simple and delicious combination of sweet cinnamon (found in the spice section next to normal cinnamon) and sugar mixed and then shaken over the pancake. Perfect!
What’s your favourite filling? Will you be giving up anything for lent? Let us know in the comments!
And why not take part in our pancake challenge? Flip a pancake as many times as you can in 30 seconds, upload to Instagram and tag @covunistudents!
Can you beat me?!