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Or so we like to think – I’ve not got the knack of scotch/drop/American pancakes, but have perfected the traditional type. For a long time, I just couldn’t make nice pancakes – they were chewy or burnt or too thick or too thin. Anything that could be wrong with a pancake in various combinations. I also seem to forget how I did them just right the last time, so I’m writing this down so I will never forget!
The recipe I now use is from Marguerite Pattern, who is hard to fault. The thing with pancakes is that you have to go through a lot of trial and error with your equipment to get them just right. So this is how I manage to make them the way we like:
1. I have a “pancake pan” I bought on a whim (in the hope of better pancakes). It is very shallow, which makes turning them a lot easier.
2. A large non-stick spatula, which I use to turn the pancakes (more details later…)
3. A ladel that I know contains the right amount of batter with one full scoop – the right amount for us is just enough to cover the whole bottom of the pan without any excess pooling in the centre
4. Unsalted butter to cook the pancake with – chop a tiny amount off, then running it round the bottom of the pan with a pastry brush gives the perfect amount.
I am useless at flipping pancakes. So I found a way to turn them without inevitable disaster/folding. I ladel my batter in and let it coat the pan by rolling it around. There should be no excess. I wait for the pancake to start to cook, then when it is set on the underside, I lay my spatula flat on the pancake and nudge it, so that the pancake overlaps on the far side of the frying pan by about an inch. I then put my spatula to one side, grab the dangling pancake and in one quick motion (eech, ooch, ouch) lift it up, towards me and flop it uncooked side down back into the pan. It then takes only a few more seconds for that side to be cooked through.
I forgot this technique while we were away over the summer, and when I made my first pancakes I couldn’t for the life of me remember how I did it – so this is now more than a mere mental note!
Pancake Ingredients -makes 6 pancakes
- 100 g plain flour
- 250 ml milk
- 1 or 2 eggs (I use two usually)
- generous knob of unsalted butter, melted (absolutely necessary for a good texture)
How to Make the Pancakes
Sieve the flour, microwave the butter in a cup, then add the milk and egg and butter to the flour and mix.
I’ve found it doesn’t really matter about letting the batter cool for these pancakes. Pancakes can be disappointing on too high, or too low a heat. You need to get the pan hot enough to melt the butter, but not so hot that it burns – medium heat is best. Cook until one side is set then flip if you can or use the turning trick if not!