22 February 2007

Pancake Day

This is Shrove Tuesday and it seems that in English speaking countries people eat pancakes. In Sweden it's called Fettisdagen (fat Tuesday) and people eat special buns called Semla, which are filled with marzipan and whipped cream. My experience with these has been hit and miss, so I really like the English tradition.

Now, pancakes. In Sweden they are eaten traditionally on Thursday after a lunch of pea soup. They come with strawberry jam or drottningsylt ("queen's jam") which is made on raspberries and bilberries/blueberries. And of course whipped cream. Most school kids and many adults tend to skip the soup part.

In England, Lundulph has told me, pancakes are eaten with just sugar and lemon juice, which is surprisingly nice.

In Bulgaria, you have pancakes for breakfast and the ultimate is with home made white cherry preserve. This preserve is such that the cherries remain whole, so that you can line them up on the pancake, then roll it and work your way through the cherries. Mmmm.

This year, Lundulph had to work late on Tuesday, so we postponed the feast to Wednesday. And it was a feast, Lundulph could barely move afterwards and neither could I.

He also said that it's a bit silly to put a recipe for batter in the cook blog, but I'm very proud of it because I've worked it out all by myself, without any outside influences and it's taken time to master all parts of the procedure. Though that's probably because we only have pancakes once a year. This recipe gives just over 6 pancakes, enough for two people to really pig out.


2.25 dl plain flour
2.5 dl water or milk
3 eggs
oil for frying

  1. With an electric whisk, blend flour, water/milk and eggs to a smooth batter.
  2. Brush a pan with oil and place on high heat. When it's hot, pour about 1 dl of the batter and swirl it around the pan quickly to cover it and form a thin cake.
  3. I use a non-stick pan, and less than a minute later the edges of the pancake come loose, so I quickly flip it.
  4. About 30 seconds later, the pancake is ready and I move it to a plate. Then brush the pan with oil again, before the next one.
The above amounts don't take long, but I recommend that the oven be preheated on low and that the ready pancakes are kept warm until all are done. They taste so much nicer when they are warm. And the crucial thing is to fry the pancakes on high heat and use a little oil for each one.

Now for the serving part. Last night we had a happy merger of Bulgarian and Swedish traditions. White cherry preserve (my Mum made some especially for us last year) and whipped cream. Also I used full milk, because it's the greasiness that makes it taste so nice. And I got Gold Top whipping cream. This is another interesting thing. The milk from cows from the Channel Islands, like Jersey and Guernsey, has a higher fat content than on the mainland UK and in old fashioned milk deliveries, the bottles would have a golden cap to differentiate from the regular silver ones. Well, they also make whipping cream and it is actually quite yellow in colour too. I whipped it with a little icing sugar, 1 tbsp per 1 dl cream. And here is the result, it was ever so tasty.

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