Shrove Tuesday: sweet and savoury pancakes

Forget Valentine's Day; this year it has been upstaged by our nations love of pancakes. I take pancake day as a great excuse to eat pancakes for every meal of the day. It is a great example of a day of crowd-pleasing, entertaining food that is simple to create – everyone loves a pancake! For the last few years, I’ve developed a recipe that works every time to create thin, crepe style pancakes: the 1-2-3 method. Easy to remember and even simpler to create. Here are my favourite sweet and savoury twists on my basic recipe; spinach and herb pancakes with salmon and browned butter pancakes with butterscotch and toasted pecan nuts.

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Basic Batter

Ingredients:

100g plain flour
2 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
300ml milk
Butter, for frying
 

Method

1. To make the basic batter, whisk together the flour and eggs in a large bowl until smooth, then gradually add the milk to make a runny batter. Alternatively, place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Cover and set aside for up to 1 hour, or until ready to use.

2. Heat a 20cm frying pan over a medium heat, then test the pan by ladling in a small amount of batter. It should take around 1 minute to brown on the bottom. If it browns too quickly, lower the temperature slightly, and do the opposite if it cooks too slowly and becomes rubbery.

3. When the pan is at the right temperature, add in a small knob of butter and then pour in a ladleful of batter. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom, then allow the pancake to cook for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked through. Keep covered and warm in a low oven while you fry the rest.

Martha's spinach & herb pancakes with smoked salmon

Ingredients

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1 x basic batter
50g butter
50g spinach
Small handful of fresh green herbs
(I use coriander, basil and sage)
Pinch sea salt flakes

TO SERVE
2 x 100g packs Waitrose Mild Scottish Smoked Salmon, torn into pieces
125g soft cheese
¼ x 25g pack chives, chopped

Method

1. Melt the 50g butter in a 20cm frying or crepe pan that you will fry the pancakes in. Remove from the heat.

2. Place the pancake batter and all the remaining pancake ingredients into a food processor then add the melted butter. Blitz until the mixture is smooth. Don’t worry if there are small pieces of spinach or herbs in the batter – this adds texture to the pancakes.

3. Heat a 20cm frying pan over a medium heat, then test the pan by ladling in a small amount of batter. It should take around 1 minute to brown on the bottom. If it browns too quickly, lower the temperature slightly, and do the opposite if it cooks too slowly and becomes rubbery.

3 When the pan is at the right temperature, add in a small knob of butter and then pour in a ladleful of batter. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom, then allow the pancake to cook for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked through. Keep covered and warm in a low oven while you fry the rest. The green becomes more vibrant on cooking.

4. Serve the pancakes warm with smoked salmon, soft cheese and chives. These are best eaten immediately.

 

Martha's brown butter pancakes with butterscotch sauce & pecans

Ingredients

Martha-Browned-Butter-Pancake-Butterscotch-Pecans_181447.jpg

75g butter
75ml double cream
75g soft light
brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt, or to taste
1 x basic batter
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
 

Method

1. Place 50g of the butter into a small saucepan over a low heat until completely melted. Cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until the white solids separate out and begin to brown at the bottom of the pan. The butter will foam and start to smell toasty. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and add the browned butter to the pancake batter.

2. To make the butterscotch sauce, place the cream, remaining 25g butter, sugar and vanilla extract into the saucepan you used to brown the butter and heat gently for 3-4 minutes or until the ingredients are well combined. Turn up the heat and allow the mixture to bubble for a further 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Season with sea salt to taste, then pour into a jug and set to one side.

3. Heat a 20cm frying pan over a medium heat, then test the pan by ladling in a small amount of batter. It should take around 1 minute to brown on the bottom. If it browns too quickly, lower the temperature slightly, and do the opposite if it cooks too slowly and becomes rubbery.

3. When the pan is at the right temperature, add in a small knob of butter and then pour in a ladleful of batter. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom, then allow the pancake to cook for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked through. Keep covered and warm in a low oven while you fry the rest.

4. Wipe out the frying pan and add the chopped pecan nuts. Toast the nuts for 2-3 minutes, keeping them moving around the pan so they don’t catch.

5. Serve the pancakes with the butterscotch sauce and the toasted pecan nuts. These are best eaten immediately.

Source: http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/e...