Pancake perfection for Shrove Tuesday

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SHROVE Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, so reporter Rich Ashcroft went out to discover how to make the perfect pancake.

Traditionally the last day of feasting before Lent begins, Shrove Tuesday, has now become synonymous with lemon juice and caster sugar sprinkled over a pancake.

FLIP SIDE: John Olerenshaw

FLIP SIDE: John Olerenshaw

Even though the ingredients are simplicity itself, 80 percent of all home-made crepes flop, so iomtoday tracked down a well known local chef John Olerenshaw to discover how to make pancakes that are mouth-watering and perfectly light.

The head chef of Greens Tearooms at Tynwald Hill believes the secret to pancake perfection is a combination of preparing the batter mixture well in advance allied to plenty of elbow grease.

John is keen to emphasise that delicious pancake recipes are incredibly easy to make – once you get the basics right.

‘Most people go wrong by making the batter too thick,’ said John who has worked at The Tynwald Cafe for six months.

‘Grab a large mixing bowl and add three free-range eggs from happy chickens. Next pour in half from a half pint of milk and half a pound (8oz) of Laxey flour.

‘Now, using plenty of elbow grease, rev up the mixture using a hand whisk. It is important to get rid of all the lumps. Add the rest of the milk. If the pancake mix is a little thick, slowly add more milk until a smooth silky batter is produced.

‘Let it stand for at least an hour.’

Historically, making and eating pancakes was considered a last feast using ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs, which were traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Moving onto to cooking, John explained: ‘Take a non stick pan and add a knob of butter or cooking oil – just enough to coat the surface of the pan. When it’s literally smoking hot add a ladle of the mix and roll it around until the base is evenly covered.’

Cook for just 20 seconds and then, using a non scratch and heat proof spatula, carefully turn the pancake over in the pan. Once turned keep an eye on the pancake until it has taken a colour on the other side.

‘I like to keep it simple with just lemon juice and caster sugar, but children often like Nutella. For something different why not try orange juice?’ John suggested.

‘When frying off the rest of the mix, remember to keep the pan hot at all times, add more butter or oil required to keep the pan lightly coated. It’s a simple as that.‘

Greens Tearooms at Tynwald Hill is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

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