Pancakes perfect for February
American Style Cranberry & Orange
- 225g (2 scant cups) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 142ml pot soured cream
- 2 medium eggs
- 125ml (1/2 cup) semi-skimmed milk
- 350g jar cranberry sauce
- 45g (3 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Sift all the dry ingredients for the batter into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre of the ingredients.
- In a jug beat together the soured cream, eggs, milk and cooled butter. Beat this into the dry ingredients until the consistency is smooth and thick. Stir in half of the jar of cranberry sauce mixing it just until it is evenly incorporated. If possible (but not vital) leave the mixture to stand for 30 minutes.
- Put the remaining cranberry sauce into a saucepan with the orange zest and juice, heat gently, stirring, until it is heated through and smooth. Alternatively, heat in a microwaveable bowl, covered with pierced cling wrap, for 1 minute on full power then stir and repeat the heating process for 30 seconds.
- To cook the pancakes, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the frying pan over a medium setting. When the oil is hot, wipe out the excess using kitchen paper towels.
- Spoon about 3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of batter into the pan and cook until bubbles break through the top surface. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side until it is pale golden in colour. Keep warm on a plate loosely covered in aluminium foil while the remaining pancakes are cooked. Lightly oil the pan between pancakes
Serve each pancake with a little of the cranberry sauce and a spoonful of plain yogurt or crème fraîche.
Apricot & Orange Spices Crepes
- 60g (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 200g (scant 1¾ cups) plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium eggs
- 550 ml (2¼ cups) semi skimmed milk
- vegetable oil for frying
- 200g (7 ounces) ready to eat dried apricots
- finely grated zest of 1 large orange
- 5 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ level teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons crème frâiche
- Melt the butter for the crêpes and allow to cool
- To make the crêpe batter, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre adding the eggs and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the cooled butter and remaining milk. If possible, leave to stand for 1 – 2 hours before using. If the mixture thickens after standing, add 2 – 3 more tablespoons of milk; it should have the consistency of un-whipped cream.
- To make the apricot filling put all the ingredients, except the crème frâiche, into the saucepan with 5 tablespoons water. Cover and simmer gently for 20- 25 minutes until the apricots are plump and tender. Cool slightly.
- Purée the apricots in a food processor or blender with the crème frâiche. Return the mixture to the rinsed saucepan.
- To cook the crêpes, wipe the surface of the pan with a little oil and heat over a medium to high heat (not a full heat).
When hot add approximately 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) batter, swirling it around the pan to completely cover the surface. Cook until bubbles are visible beneath the surface. Turn over and cook the other side until it is a pale golden brown 7. Slide the crêpe from the pan to a warmed plate. Stack as they are cooked, they will not stick together and cover loosely with a piece of aluminium foil to keep them warm. 8. When all the crêpes are cooked warm through the apricot filling and spread a little on one half of each crêpe. Roll up and sprinkle the tops with a little sugar
Serve warm with ice cream or a little more crème frâiche.
Chocolate Swirl Pancakes
- 150g cake flour, sifted
- 3 medium eggs, beaten until light and fluffy
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 480ml to 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 120ml Nutella®, melted
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the sugar and beaten eggs.
- Add the milk gradually and beat to a smooth and creamy consistency. Add the melted butter and swirl in the Nutella®.
- Wipe the surface of a 24cm Le Creuset Toughened Non Stick Crêpe Pan with a little oil and heat gently on a medium heat setting turning to a low to medium setting when the required temperature is reached. Pour just enough batter to thinly cover the surface of the pan. Lightly brown the pancake on one side, then turn and brown on the other.
- Slide the pancake from the pan and stack as they are cooked and cover loosely with a piece of aluminium foil to keep them warm until you are ready to serve them. Serve as soon as possible after cooking.
Crespolini With Mushroom & Ricotta Filling
- 125g (1 cup) plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 medium size eggs
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- A little vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 225g (8 ounces) chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 125g (½ cup) ricotta cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
- For the crespolini sift the flour and salt into a bowl and gradually beat in the eggs, milk and the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, to make a very smooth batter. If possible leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes before using.
- For the first crespolini, add approximately one teaspoon of oil to the frying pan and heat this over a medium setting. Turn the pan when the oil is hot so that it gives a film to the bottom of the pan. Ladle in just enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. Cook until bubbles can be seen rising under the surface. Flip over and cook the other side until it is pale golden brown. Slide the crespolini on to a plate and loosely cover with aluminium foil. Wipe the pan’s surface with a smear of oil between crespolini and continue cooking until all the batter is used. Keep warm.
- Using the same pan (there is no need to wash it) heat the olive oil for the filling and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are just beginning to soften. Add the parsley, ricotta and some seasoning and continue cooking and stirring just until the mixture is evenly hot.
- Spoon a little of the mushroom filling along the centre of each of the crespolini and from one edge roll them up enclosing the filling.
To prepare in advance for re-heating, make to the completion of point 4. Rinse and dry the pan and oil lightly. Pack the filled crespolini closely together in the pan, in two layers if necessary, and sprinkle with the parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake in the pan, in the oven, at 180˚c / 350˚f / gas 4 or fan oven 170˚c for 15 minutes.
Lace Pancakes with Berry Compote & Creme Fraiche
- 120g plain flour
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml milk
- Butter, for frying
- 300g mixed frozen berries
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp caster sugar or honey
- Squeeze of lemon
- 200g crème fraîche
- Icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C/ Fan 160° / Gas Mark 4
- First, make the pancake batter by placing the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Crack in the eggs and roughly whisk to form a thick paste.
- Pour in the milk and whisk again to form a smooth, thick batter ensuring there are no lumps. Set the batter aside whilst you start the compote.
- In a small pan add the frozen fruit, vanilla, sugar or honey and lemon. Place over a medium heat and allow to gently simmer until the fruits have defrosted and begin to breakdown and the sauce begins to thicken. This will take approximately 5 - 8 minutes - if the compote is still a little thin, continue to simmer until appropriately thickened. Set aside to cool when ready.
- Place the Toughened Non-Stick crêpe pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add a little butter and allow to melt, wiping away any excess butter with a piece of kitchen paper. Pour the prepared batter into the squeezy bottle.
- When the pan is hot, slowly, and steadily squeeze the batter into the pan to form a heart shape - ensure the tip of the nozzle is relatively close to the pan as this will give you more control.
- When you have drawn the first heart, follow the shape enclosing the smaller heart with an even bigger heart. Pipe a swirl pattern between the two hearts to form a lace like effect. Finish by dotting a little batter round the edge of the larger heart.
- Allow to cook for 1 minute and when you begin to see bubbles on the surface of the batter, carefully flip and allow the pancake to cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes until golden.
- Repeat until you have made all your pancakes. Serve your heart pancakes with a dusting of icing sugar alongside your prepared berry compote and a spoon of crème fraîche.