Dorset Food & Drink

PANCAKES

With Pancake Day approaching on Tuesday 16th February, these delicious treats are not only easy to make, with no special equipment needed, they are also simple to tweak to be vegan friendly or gluten free and are a vessel for all sorts of delicious toppings.

Most standard crepe recipes, like the one below, take the form of plain flour, cow’s milk and eggs, but all sorts of tweaks still produce tasty pancakes, as long as the ratios of flour, milk and egg/egg replacement stay the same. It is also simple to source local ingredients to make, if you should so wish.

Image Heather Brown

There are a number of milk vending machines across Dorset giving 24/7 access to milk (almost) straight from the cow, certainly direct from the farmer. You can find local eggs in most butchers or farm shops and Stoat’s Farm sell locally milled plain flour.

If you are looking for some delicious local toppings, then Ajar Of have their handmade Dorset sea salted caramel to adorn your pancakes and you can find a number of delicious fruit curds from From Dorset With Love. If a savoury pancake is more your jam, then there are a plethora of local cheese companies to choose from, including the Book & Bucket Cheese Co, Ford Farm and James’ s Cheese.

This recipe makes 4 large pancakes (which is usually plenty for one person). If you are feeding more than one person, then simply multiply the recipe, keeping the method the same.

Ingredients

4oz plain flour 1 egg 50-100ml milk

Method

Place into a bowl the flour and add the egg and some of the milk. Begin to mix with a whisk (you can use a mixer if you have one but start slowly so as not to decorate your kitchen in flour). Continue whisking until all the lumps are whisked out. This should result in a thick, smooth paste. Gradually add in more milk, mixing between each addition, until you have a batter the consistency of a good smoothie.

Place your frying pan onto a high heat. The hardest bit is now to wait until the frying pan is nice and hot. If you don’t wait, your first pancake will be limp and clammy.

Once your pan is hot, drizzle or spray into the pan some oil. Swill the oil around the pan and then pour off any excess into a bowl. The oil is there to make sure the pancake doesn’t stick, but it needs to be the barest coating.

I find a ladle the best at spooning the mixture into the pan but if you have a jug then that works just as well. Ladle or pour the mixture into the pan and gently move the pan around to help the mixture create a thin coating over the entire base of the frying pan.
As it cooks, you should see the colour of the pancake changing. When the whole pancake has changed colour, ease a spatula underneath to loosen and either flip over with the spatula or obviously you can ‘flip’ the pancake into the air.

Cook the other side of the pancake just enough to brown (this won’t take more than a few seconds) and tip out onto a plate.

Pancakes are best eaten hot from the pan but if that isn’t possible, then stack the pancakes on top of each other and they will collectively stay warm until you have finished cooking the last one.

For gluten free pancakes, switch the plain flour to gluten free plain flour.

For vegan pancakes, replace the egg with 5tbsp of oil and the milk with a plant based alternative. You might find you need more milk than I suggest above. Just keep adding until you get the consistency of a good smoothie.

By: Heather Brown

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