With our national pancake-munching day just around the corner (Tuesday 13 February), it’s a great excuse to get together and celebrate this age-old tradition. Here’s a little background and inspiration to make the most out of these simple pan-fried wonders.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, then there are 40 days of fasting leading up to Easter. So Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the fast and in times gone by was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before fasting. Pancakes were the perfect way of making sure these ingredients didn’t go to waste.
Pancakes can come in all shapes and sizes, both sweet and savoury, with toppings galore, but most people recognise the traditional pancake topped with lemon juice and caster sugar. They’ve been featured in cookery books dating as far back as 1439 and the tradition of tossing or flipping them is just as old: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, and tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).
We’ve even made a sport out of it with pancake races. This much loved British tradition involves people in fancy dress franticly racing down streets tossing pancakes. The first past the finish line with frying pan and pancake intact is deemed the winner.
As you’d expect Co-op is here to help make your pancake creations a success, whether you’re cooking from scratch or looking for a shortcut. We know 84% of people celebrate the day with 35% buying their ingredients on the day and 60% making their pancakes from scratch, typically spending less than £5.
From today you’ll find loads of Pancake Day essentials in our stores from pre-made Pancake Shakers (simply pour the mixture into a frying pan and cook) to plentiful supplies of fresh eggs, flour, milk, juicy lemons and Nutella, a family favourite. If you prefer to play it safe, you’ll also find ready-made pancakes in many of our stores.
Join in the celebrations and follow this simple recipe to make eight delicious pancakes from scratch:
25g plain flour
2 large eggs
1 pint of milk
1 pinch of salt
1. Mix all ingredients together and whisk well, then leave to stand for 30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, use the pancake mix straightaway.
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan to a high temperature. To distribute the oil evenly, wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen roll and repeat several times while cooking.
3. Pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the bottom of the pancake starts to brown.
4. Shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip it over to brown the other side… Good luck with the flipping and enjoy!
Feeling adventurous? Take a look at our February edition of Co-op Food Magazine where we’ve got some tasty alternatives – such as Rocky Road Pancakes and Pizza Pancakes.
Check out the Coop Food Magazine app – go to the App Store, Amazon Appstore or Google Play and search ‘Co-op Food magazine’.
We’d love to hear about your Pancake Day creations. Tell us how you celebrate the day and any speciality pancake recipes you’d like to share with colleagues.