There’s more to a pancake than a lemon and sugar filling!’ Lesley Waters says emphatically, before rattling off a long list of tantalising sweet and savoury pancake recipes.
Traditionally the last day of feasting before Lent begins, Shrove Tuesday has now become synonymous with Jif lemon juice and caster sugar.
But the cooking star of Ready Steady Cook and This Morning believes there’s a real reluctance, or perhaps fear, to get creative in the kitchen on Pancake Day.
‘There are so many different styles of pancakes from all over the world to take inspiration from,’ says Waters.
‘In Russia you’ve got your blini, in France there’s the thin crêpe and in America they make really thick ones you can eat with bacon and maple syrup.
‘I love all pancakes. In fact, my whole family are pancake hogs – we adore them. I never understand why everyone waits until Pancake Day to eat them. We should have them all year round!’
Waters is keen to emphasise that mouth-watering pancake recipes are incredibly easy to make – once you get the basics right.
‘My perfect pancake mix is my mum’s recipe. All you need is 110 grams of plain flour, a pinch of salt, two large eggs, 300 millilitres of semi-skimmed milk and a knob of butter for the pan.
‘Whisk it all together until the batter is the consistency of single cream, making doubly sure it’s not too thick, as that can make a terrible, rubbery pancake.’
As for the flip, she advises it takes place when the edge starts to look like lace.
Waters is one of the ‘aunts’ behind the Aunt Bessie’s brand and says there’s no shame in having a bit of extra help in the kitchen. Here’s an innovative – and quick – pancake recipe to try.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
110g plain flour
pinch of salt
two large eggs
300ml semi-skimmed milk
For the filling
250g cream cheese
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
25g melted butter
50g caster sugar
For the sauce:
150g caster sugar
150g fresh blueberries
n Put the cream cheese into a bowl, add the lemon zest, half of the lemon juice and 25g of the caster sugar, then mix together. Fry the pancake batter.
Place a dessert spoon of the cream cheese mixture in the centre of each pancake, roll it up then place in a buttered baking dish. When all the pancakes are in the baking dish, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle the remaining 25g caster sugar over them. Place under a medium hot grill to warm through for three to four minutes.
To make the sauce, dissolve the caster sugar in the water over a medium heat and boil for two minutes until syrupy. Add the blueberries, bring to the boil then simmer for a minute until the juice begins to run.
Add the rest of the lemon juice left over from the filling. Serve the pancakes with the blueberry sauce spooned over.