This article first appeared on The Circle on Sunday 3 March, 2019
Photos by Rachel Zammit Cutajar
Just after the Carnival comes Shrove Tuesday on 5th March, better known as Pancake Day, when Catholics used up all the milk and eggs in the house to prepare for Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday the following day. Whether you like them in the French crêpe-style, thin and topped with lemon and icing sugar, or the thick Scotch style served with butter and jam there will be pancakes for everyone this Pancake Day.
· 500ml milk
· 2 eggs
· 200g plain flour
· 1 tsp salt
To cook the pancakes,
· approx. 50g lard (like TREX a vegetable lard), or sunflower oil
1. Place all the ingredients, except the flour, in the food processor and liquidize at minimum speed.
2. Remove the cap and spoon in the flour. Replace the cap and switch on to maximum speed.
3. Blend for 30 seconds. Allow to stand for quarter of an hour.
4. Using a small crêpe pan, approx. 23cm diameter, melt 1 tbsp of the lard or oil in the pan on high heat, swirling it round to get the whole pan thoroughly lubricated.
5. Tip the excess lard or oil into a metal bowl. (The pan needs to be coated in fat, but the pancakes should not be cooked in fat).
6. When the pan is really hot, turn the heat down to medium and add 1 soup ladle of the pancake mix, tipping it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated. It should only take 30 seconds or so to cook.
7. Lift the edge with a palette knife and if the pancake is tinged golden underneath, carefully turn it over with an egg-slicer and cook for a further 10 seconds.
8. Carefully slip the pancake onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
9. Continue like this, adding 1 tbsp of the melted excess lard or oil until all the pancakes are ready (heat more fat if necessary).
10. Keep the pancakes warm and serve immediately either with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sieved icing sugar, or alternatively with some Maple syrup or chocolate spread.
· 125g self-raising flour
· 15g sugar
· 1 egg
· 125ml milk
· Some lard or margarine or butter or oil
1. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl, add the egg and half the milk, and beat with a whisk till smooth. Add the remaining milk, and beat until bubbles rise to the surface.
2. Rub the griddle or frying pan with a wad of kitchen paper and salt.
3. Wipe clean and then grease very lightly with your chosen fat.
4. Just before cooking the scones, heat the pan until the fat is ‘hazing’, then wipe the surface again with another piece of kitchen paper.
5. Ladle the batter onto the heated pan in 6cm rounds well spaced apart.
6. When bubbles rise to the surface, turn the scones with a palette knife and cook for another 30 seconds or until turning golden brown.
7. Place on a cooking rack and cover with a clean tea towel while the rest are being cooked.
8. As soon as you can, spread with butter and jam and serve at once.
Celebrate local traditions with Pippa Mattei
Love traditional recipes? Get more of Pippa’s recipes in her cookbooks 25 Years in a Maltese Kitchen (also translated into Maltese) and the Gourmand award-winning Pippa’s Festa. All three books are available at all leading bookstores or online from www.mirandabooks.com with free delivery to Malta and Gozo addresses.