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Shrove Tuesday has been part of Britain’s religious calendar for over a thousand years and for at least 500 of those we’ve been eating pancakes on this day. Traditionally pancakes were made to use up leftover reserves of the more ‘naughty’ fatty food items in the house before the onset of abstinence over Lent. These days it’s just a good excuse for a flippin’ good time in the kitchen!

Sweet or savoury, we all love a good pancake, but not all of us can make them – so here’s Head Chef, Chris Spencer to tell you how.

And to make Pancake Day a little special this year, why not try his funky filling ideas below. A sweet, lemony version with whipped cream and bursting with fruit, or how about a savoury pancake filled with smoked salmon, avocado and ricotta cheese.

Sweet lemon curd pancake cake

Pancake mix

  • 160g plain flour – sifted
  • 3 x large eggs
  • 425ml milk
  • 50g melted butter

To build

  • Lemon curd
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • Whipped cream
  • Icing sugar

Method

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well. Add the eggs and whisk together. Gradually whisk in the milk and then the melted butter to form a smooth batter.

Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Using your best non-stick frying pan heat until very hot then turn down to medium high. Add a little butter and oil to the pan and ladle in just enough batter to cover the surface. Move the pan around so that the surface is fully covered and cook for around 30 – 40 seconds. Lift the pancake slightly to ensure underside edges are golden and cooked and that the pancake will move and flip with a spatula or toss with a quick flick of the wrist if feeling confident. Cook on second side for 20 to 30 seconds more then place on a tray in a warm oven whilst you cook out more pancakes.

Make a lemon syrup by adding caster sugar, lemon juice and water to a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer until you have a nice lemony syrup.

Stack warm pancakes with lemon curd and fruit in between layers then top with extra fruit. Drizzle the lemon syrup over the top, put on the whipped cream and dust with icing sugar.

Take to the table and cut like a very indulgent cake.

Smoked salmon savoury courgette pancakes

For a meal with a difference use the same basic pancake recipe but add in some grated courgette to the batter.

When made fill with smoked salmon, avocado and ricotta then serve with a dressed fresh salad.

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