Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – is a time of fasting and reflection for many Christians. Pancake Day therefore marks the last opportunity to indulge oneself before this period of abstinence begins. The date varies each year, falling anywhere between February 3 and March 9, depending on when Easter is.
The tradition of eating pancakes on this day comes from the need to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar before embarking on the Lenten fast. Pancakes are the perfect recipe for using up these ingredients in a delicious way. This custom has been celebrated for centuries across many countries with great enthusiasm.
This Pancake Day we have some tips from Ryan MacFarlane, Executive Chef at Edinburgh’s 5-star Hotel – Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian!
- How to flip a pancake perfectly every time according to The Caledonian’s head chef.
Flipping a pancake perfectly involves using a non-stick pan on medium-high heat with a small amount of clarified butter, cooking one side until it develops golden brown colour on the surface, and then confidently flipping it with a thin spatula in one swift motion to ensure an even cook on both sides.
- This one ingredient / easy technique will guarantee pancake that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
For a pancake with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, I suggests incorporating sparkling water into the batter. The carbonation in the water contributes to a lighter texture, while the batter still maintains its structure for a good crunch.
- How to make a fool proof pancake according to top Scottish chef.
To make a fool proof pancake, it is important to let the batter rest. Ideally this is overnight, but for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flour to fully absorb the liquid, resulting in a smoother batter and more consistent pancakes when cooked.
- The one topping everyone should try this pancake day according to one of Britain’s oldest hotels.
For a sweet option I recommend a blend of mascarpone cheese and cherries, with a drizzle of honey. A great savoury option is a combination of Scottish smoked salmon, cream cheese, and chives