I love the way that every country has its own take on pancakes. In America it’s all about fluffy buttermilk pancakes, piled high with blueberries, syrup and bacon. In France they’ve got the delicate crêpe, and India they’ve got the delicious savoury dosa. But while all of these pancake incarnations have place in my heart, for me there’s nothing quite like the glorious taste of a classic English pancake.
What’s an English pancake, I hear you ask? Well, to the untrained eye, it’s not dissimilar to its French cousin the crêpe. But English pancakes are actually a little thicker and smaller, a sort of French-American pancake hybrid, fusing the frilliness of the former with the chewy fluffiness of the latter. Best of all, they lend themselves beautifully to being made with gluten free flour. In fact, in the first few years of being gluten free I carried on making regular pancakes for the rest of the family and just made the gluten free ones for myself, but now I don’t bother – everyone seems to prefer the gluten free ones anyway! The only suggestion I would make is to make your batter well in advance, ideally the night before, so that it has loads of time to rest before you get round to using it.
With pancake day round the corner I’ll definitely be having a few of my pancakes the traditional way – scattered with caster sugar and drenched in fresh lemon juice. But I have to admit that while I’d defend the English pancake to the end, those Americans sure know a thing or two about pancake toppings! And so this year, I’ll also be whipping up a batch of American-inspired cinnamon honey butter, to melt onto hot pancakes, fresh from the pan.
How will you be eating your pancakes this year?
- 200g gluten free plain white flour (I use Doves Farm)
- 2 eggs
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- For the cinnamon honey butter:
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 80g honey
- 1tbsp ground cinnamon
- 30g icing sugar
- The night before you want to make the pancakes, put the flour and eggs into a large straight-sided jug along with a third of the milk, and stir until you have a smooth, thick paste.
- Add the rest of the milk a little at a time, beating the mix continuously until a smooth batter is formed. Make extra sure that you’ve combined all of the ingredients, then place in the fridge to rest overnight.
- The next day, take your batter out of the fridge and stir thoroughly to redistribute all of the ingredients. Heat a heavy frying pan over a medium heat, pop a teaspoon of butter into the pan, and tilt to coat the bottom of the pan. As soon as the butter has melted and started to bubble (but before it starts to go brown), pour a serving of your pancake batter into the pan. Swirl to ensure the batter coats the bottom of the pan, then leave to cook on one side.
- When the edges of the pancake start to turn golden underneath and the top of the pancake looks dry, flip the pancake over using a spatula.
- Cook for about 30 seconds on the second side, then serve.
- For the cinnamon honey butter: Place all of the ingredients into a small bowl, then beat until smooth. Chill in the fridge until serving, then dollop straight onto hot pancakes! Also delicious on toast.