One of the first things I ever learned to make was pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. I can't remember what age I was but I do remember being told the day before and not being able to sleep at the thought of flipping my very first pancake! I sat on the kitchen counter as my mom assembled the ingredients, armed with a splattered and stained copy of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. A basic pancake batter is quite easy to make but when I was younger I truly believed it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. A light and delicate frying pan with low edges, carted home from Paris, was thrown on the stove top with a loud clang and the gas lit beneath it. While the pan was heating up my mom told me that the first pancake is always a disaster.
Sure enough, the first one that hit the pan turned out to be a mess, but rolled up with a little lemon juice and sugar it was the cook's treat! When it came to flipping my first pancake, I threw it up into the air as high and as hard as I could and closed my eyes. The pan slipped from my hands and followed the pancake towards the ceiling, breaking one of the lights and causing everyone to jump! Not the best start really, but after the mess was cleaned up it only took about three more tries before I had down to a fine art! For me, classic pancakes have to be served with lemon and sugar and eaten as soon as they come off the pan, but if you're serving them as a dessert, try adding some caramel apple to them and folding them up in quarters, with a dollop of ice cream on top!
You can easily make this batter the night before to save time in the morning. Have a little melted butter in a bowl and some kitchen paper so you can wipe the pan before adding a ladle of the batter.
Ingredients - Makes 12-14 pancakes
The Method Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and with a spoon make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and using a whisk slowly incorporate them with the flour. Don't worry too much about lumps as they should disappear when you add the rest of the liquid. Gradually add the milk and water until you have a light batter. Heat a little butter in your frying pan over a hot heat, and add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the batter, stir through to combine. Add a ladle full of the batter to the hot pan and move from side to side until it evenly covers the surface of the pan. Reduce the heat and cook for about a minute each side or until the batter begins to take a nice golden colour. Feel free to try your hand at flipping half way through! Serve straight away with your filling of choice, or try the classic filling of lemon juice and sugar. You can cook all the batter off and save the pancakes for later. Simply layer the crepes on top each other, cover with some cling film and store in the fridge. They should heat up well in a microwave.
I originally made this to go with pancakes but it works so well as part of other desserts like waffles, ice cream, and even my American style oaty pancakes!
Ingredients - Makes enough for 4 people
The Method In a small sauce pan, bring the butter and golden syrup to the boil. Allow to simmer and bubble for approximately five minutes or until the sauce thickens. Set aside. Chop the apples into chunky slices. Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the apples slices. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and caster sugar, toss to combine. Fry the apples, tossing every now and then until you get a nice golden colour on all sides and they have become soft (About 3-4 minutes either side). When the apples are ready, add them to the butter and golden syrup sauce and stir gently to combine. Serve the sauce with homemade pancakes and some sneaky vanilla ice cream!