Sundays are pancake day in our house. Pancakes are a great example of what I call ‘Voluptuous Food’ as there is just something about this simple combination of flour, egg and milk that nurtures us and brings memories of childhood to mind. In South Africa thick doughy pancakes served with cinnamon sugar and lemon juice are a staple at any fete or small town market. More sophisticated crêpes selling for triple the amount are now also common place in Cape Town’s trendy food markets. I once stood in line for over an hour to buy a Nutella crêpe for my eldest daughter!
I have tried all the healthier versions using coconut, almond or spelt flour and to be honest unless you have an allergic reaction to gluten, I say when eating pancakes, do it the traditional way - the way they were always intended to be eaten! Nothing else tastes quite as good.
For me, the loving task of making pancakes also bring up memories of Shrove Tuesday and the many mornings I would wake with the larks at 4.30am to ensure 50 beautiful pancakes were ready before school for my daughter’s Shrove Tuesday celebrations. On those occasions I would have made my mixture the night before, sieving it twice through to ensure there were no lumps. Letting it stand over night or for a few hours, is actually preferable, but the recipe below works perfectly fine when made immediately.
My children say I make the best pancakes, although they are rather biased! The recipe itself is not rocket science and yet many people avoid making their own pancakes. I think it is the flipping that intimidates them. I do flip mine, but it is not a necessity, just use a good non stick pan and a spatula to turn them. Personally I do think the secret lies in your pan. If you don’t have a special crêpe pan, consider dedicating one of your shallow non-stick pans to pancakes - you will notice the difference and it makes the whole ritual that much more special.
Make a batch of pancakes this Sunday. Share the love.
1 large egg
2 cups white flour
2 cups water
1 cup full cream milk
1 Tbs melted coconut oil (plus another for frying)
For the Filling:
cinnamon powder mixed with brown or white sugar
fresh lemon, sliced and ready to squeeze (or any filling of your choice!)
- Break an egg into a large batter bowl and whisk it.
- Add the water and milk and whisk it all together.
- Sieve in the flour and then add the pinch of salt.
- Whisk everything together as well as you can.
- I then use a hand blender to remove all remaining lumps. (Alternatively, for deluxe pancakes, you can pour the batter mixture through a sieve to remove the lumps. This is time consuming and messy but does do the job well. Try and do this twice.)
- Add the melted coconut oil and mix through.
- Turn your stove on high and now prepare your crêpe/non-stick pan by melting about a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan. Turn the pan around to coat it lightly with oil and pour the remaining oil into a cup to keep available on the side while you work.
- Turn the heat down to a moderate heat. Hold your pan with one hand while you take a soup ladle and scoop batter into the ladle so that it is about 3/4 full. Gently pour the mixture into the pan, rotating the pan so that the batter forms a lovely circle. (It should not be too thick, but ensure there are no gaping holes in your mixture.)
- Cook for just around a minute until the pancake starts to lift up slightly from the pan and harden. Then either flip it or use a spatula and gently turn the pancake over to cook briefly (about 30 seconds) on the opposite side.
- Slide your pancake off the pan and onto a plate and cover with two folded dishcloths to help keep them warm. (Tin foil creates moisture, so dishtowels are best)
- Continue by adding a little more oil and mixture and keep at it until all the pancakes are made.
- Once they are all done, add the filling of your choice. I like to add cinnamon sugar and drizzle the juice from a slice of freshly squeezed lemon over. Roll the pancake and serve immediately.
(In the unlikely event you have any pancakes or pancake mixture leftover, it can be frozen for another time.)
Makes around 10-12 pancakes