The first time I ever flipped a pancake was at primary school on Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) and the crêpes were being cooked on a camping stove that had been casually placed on the floor of the classroom in front of the blackboard. We were all standing in a circle, eager to see who would succeed … such a great memory! Health and safety in the 80s was not the big deal it is now but I do not remember anyone ever being injured during lessons.
When I was growing up, pancake night was once a week and I am still a crêpe lover despite the fact I do not make them regularly. After posting the recipe for ‘free from’ crêpes last week, I realised I was discriminating against the wide majority of the population without allergies or intolerances (myself included) so I decided to share the no-nonsense recipe I have been using for the past fifteen years. It is fool proof, requires few ingredients and takes minutes to put together. Just in case you were wondering, I do not own or use a pancake pan or any other special utensil for that matter. A frying pan and wooden spatula are all you need.
If you are from Brittany or a tad pedantic about crêpe etiquette, please stop reading now! This is a basic recipe I use both for savoury and sweet French pancakes. With a busy lifestyle and energetic children, one of whom needs a completely different recipe, making a quick batch is always a bonus in my books. No matter how much I enjoy them, there are no galettes de sarrasin here I am afraid. If you have a good recipe for the delicious savoury version, give me a shout, I would love to give it a go at some point!
Here is the recipe:
- 1 ¼ cup plain flour 160g
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 500 ml milk
- Sunflower oil for cooking
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, eggs, sunflower oil and a bit of the milk.
- Add in the milk gradually, whisking constantly to obtain a smooth batter. I tend not to worry about lumps and squash them with a wooden spoon if I spot them in the pan, but if they bother you, try using a soup blender to get rid of them.
- The mixture will appear thin in consistency and that is how it is meant to be.
- Warm your pan over a medium heat and grease slightly with a bit of sunflower oil spread evenly with kitchen paper.
- Use a ladle to pour enough of the liquid to thinly coat the pan. You will need to rotate your pan to distribute the batter evenly.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, until it is dry underneath and easy to turn with a wooden spatula or flip it if you are feeling adventurous.
- Let the other side cook for another minute. You can add your filling now or pile up your crêpes on a plate for later.
- Repeat until you have used all the batter. Do not forget to grease the pan when needed using your oiled kitchen paper.
- Bon appétit!
Double the recipe and you can have a main course, dessert as well as breakfast the next day.
You can cook the batch all at once and reheat the pancakes (no oil needed in the pan) when you are ready to eat.
Once cooled, pancakes wrapped in cling film will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge.
My pancake-obsessed brain (cannot stop thinking about crêpes, cannot stop thinking about crêpes, cannot… you get the gist!) even went to the trouble of putting together a list of over fifty pancake filling ideas… What is your favourite pancake filling?