Pancakes

Pancakes

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Nearly every country in the world has its own version of pancakes. They are endlessly versatile and range from Chinese egg rolls to the sophisticated Crêpes Suzette of France, which many people consider to be the ultimate pancake variation. Pancakes usually have a thick, fluffy texture and can be sweet or savoury. They can be served stacked or rolled, with a sauce, or served flat with a topping; their thin, lacy relative, crêpes, are usually rolled or folded around a filling.

Russian Blini, made from buckwheat and served with sour cream and caviar; Jewish Blintzes, with creamy cheese filling, and topped with conserve and sour cream; Griddle Cakes, Flapjacks and Pikelets are all part of the pancake family (see separate entries for recipes). Whatever variation you choose, pancakes have delicious possibilities for parties, snacks and for every course of a meal, every meal of the day.

The pancake pan: Use a heavy, flat pan, preferably made from cast iron, with sides about 1 cm high and about 18 cm in diameter. A cast iron pan should be kept only for making pancakes and their variations. Do not wash after use: simply rub it with paper towels and a few drops of oil. If the pan becomes sticky, rub with salt first and finish with oil.

To season a new pan: Fill with oil and heat to smoking point. Turn off heat and stand for 24 hours. Pour off the oil, and wipe well with paper towels.

To toss pancakes: Some people consider the best way to turn over a pancake during cooking is to toss it. Pour the batter from a jug into the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. When bubbles appear on top of the batter and it begins to set, shake the pan to make sure the pancake is not sticking and has browned underneath. Jerk the pan forwards quickly until the pancake moves onto the downward sloping part of the pan. Flip the pancake over with a quick movement of the wrist so that the uncooked side is now underneath. This takes practice.

To store pancakes: Store as for Crêpes To reheat pancakes: Place on a baking tray, cover with foil and warm in a preheated moderate oven 180°C for 5 minutes. Or place a stack of 3–4 pancakes on a heatproof plate, cover with another plate and warm over boiling water for 8–10 minutes.

See also Crêpes.

Sweet Pancake Toppings: Squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle with sugar; spread with butter and pour on hot maple syrup; top with warm mincemeat (see Mincemeat) and a spoonful of whipped cream; spread with lemon cheese and top with whipped cream; spread with apple purée, sprinkle with cinnamon and top with sour cream; spread with sour cream and brown sugar, top with sliced strawberries or pineapple pieces; spread with thick cream and top with warmed apricot, plum or blackberry jam.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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