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It’s very nearly Shrove Tuesday. Who’s up for some pancake action?

Please, I beg of you, don’t buy pancake mix. It’s the biggest con going. Pancakes are one of the easiest and most fun items to make. I know this post is a bit early, but that’s because I’m going to pilates on Tuesday night and frankly I don’t fancy that on a stomach full of pancakes. So we’re going to have some pancake action tonight. I’m sure this cosmic shift in consumption won’t cause any lasting damage, except to my waistline.

Traditional favourites in the ApplePie household include golden syrup, lemon and sugar, and on the odd occasion I wish to channel my grandmother, milk and sugar. Last year I made these beauties, because savoury pancakes can be just as scrummy.  You could fill pancakes with kedgeree, try haddock with spinach and topped with a poached egg, or go simple and create a stack layered with ham and cheese.

Master this recipe and the flick of the wrist – and perfect pancakes are but moments away. And don’t forget the golden rule of pancake making. The first one is always a disaster. Therefore it belongs to the cook to nibble on whilst making the rest of the pancakes.


  • 4oz plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ pint of milk, or a mix of milk and water


Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Whisk in slowly, adding the milk gradually until all the flour is worked in.  Whisk until there are bubbles breaking the surface and the mixture resembles single cream in texture.

Melt a small knob of butter or drop of oil in a good sized frying pan. When it’s good and hot, give the batter one last whisk then pour about 3tbsp-worth into the pan. You need to be quick at this stage – pour in the batter with one hand, rotate the pan with the other – you’re aiming to create a thin layer of batter across the pan. Add a bit more if you need to for your size of pan. Back onto the heat and use a spatula to ease the edges up. Flip or manually turn once it’s bubbled up with air and is nicely browned on the other side.

For each pancake, heat a small amount of oil in the frying pan. When it begins to smoke, stir the batter and place approximately 3 x 15 ml spoon (3 tbsp) into the pan.

When golden brown underneath, turn or flip and cook other side. Slide out of the pan and keep warm until you’re going to eat them. Or separate pancakes with greaseproof paper and freeze when cold – they reheat well in the microwave or oven once defrosted, if you want to get ahead.