Pancake Day is one of my favourite days of the year and really harps back to when I was a child! Now I get to play around with my own kids, making stacks of pancakes, with plenty of fun toppings and fillings to go with them. While you can find ready-made pancake mix in most shops, making pancakes from scratch is incredibly easy and much more delicious when made fresh. You can prepare a big batch of mix and cover it to be used later on in the day, so it’s really useful if you’re entertaining a group.
When choosing what kind of pancakes to make (and let’s face it, everyone likes something different on their pancakes), I like to take a little inspiration from my travels. Check out my destination-inspired pancake recipes below and see which one takes your fancy…
Plain pancake recipe
100g Plain flour
300ml Semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp Sunflower oil or vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
1 tsp Baking powder (for thick pancakes)
A pinch of salt
This recipe creates perfect pancakes for about eight people. The great thing about pancake mix is that you can keep adding milk, flour and the odd egg, as you go, to keep the mixture going.
Simply mix your salt, flour, baking powder (if making American-style pancakes), eggs, oil and about 50ml of your milk together. Once mixed, continue to add your milk, continuously whisking to ensure the mixture is smooth. Once this is done, you’re ready to start adding more flavours to the mix!
Turkey is known for having a love of full flavours, with the many bazaars selling incredible, freshly-ground spices, displayed in heaps of scented colour. A popular sweetener used in Turkish desserts is cinnamon, and this spice goes really well when used in pancake mixture, or simply sprinkled on top!
Add about 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your pancake mixture before cooking, to give your pancakes a wonderfully rich flavour. I find that maple syrup drizzled on top works really well with cinnamon, too!
Savoury feta pancakes
Greek cuisine uses a variety of different cheeses, including two of my favourites, manouri and kasseri. By far the most popular though (and in my opinion, the most delicious!) is feta. A crumbly, aged cheese, feta is ideal to use in cooking because it’s so versatile.
Adding about 100g of crumbled feta to your pancake mixture, along with a handful of chopped zucchini and 2 cloves of crushed garlic will create mouthwatering savoury pancakes! If you want your pancakes a little thicker, simply add a little less milk, along with baking powder, to create a stack of savoury goodness.
Many Portuguese dessert recipes use egg yolks – or custard – to create sweet creamy treats. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Portuguese custard tart. One of my favourite ways to use custard with pancakes is to make the custard from scratch, before spreading it onto thin pancakes and rolling them up, although you can also use the custard as a spread on lovely, thick pancakes! Delicious!
1 pint Milk
55ml Single cream
½ tsp Vanilla extract
4 Eggs, yolks only
30g Caster sugar
2 tsp Corn flour
To make your custard, mix together milk, cream and vanilla and simmer over a low heat. Whisk the yolks, sugar and corn flour together in a separate bowl, then pour the hot milk and cream on to the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously.
Put the mixture back over a low heat and gently stir with a wooden spoon until thickened. Serve immediately, pouring your custard over a stack of freshly-made pancakes, or use as a filling. Mmm!