Monday, February 11, 2013

Cider and Cinnamon Crêpes - Time to practice your pancake-flipping skills!

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Pancake Day nearly slid by unnoticed in the shadow of the fast-approaching Valentine’s Day chocolate fest. Eeek!
Although I nearly always go for fluffy American pancakes, Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday) calls for more traditional crêpe-style pancakes - the last hurrah before the lean Lenten days ahead...
I like my pancake accompaniments fairly simple - a drizzle of honey, a squeeze of lemon – so I’ve put the flavour in the batter by adding cider, vanilla and cinnamon. The kitchen smells like a Yankee Candle store while these are cooking.

For 8 – 10 pancakes you will need...
... a crêpe pan (a non-stick frying pan will do but a lightweight crêpe pan makes life easier)

125g plain flour
a pinch of fine table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
125mls milk
100mls natural cider, unsweetened, non-sparkling (or unsweetened natural apple juice)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

To serve: a juicy lemon, cut into generous wedges, and honey or icing sugar

1                    In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and ground cinnamon. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs. Whisk the eggs, gradually incorporating the flour from the edges. When the eggs are combined with the flour, gradually whisk in the milk, followed by the cider (or apple juice), sunflower oil and vanilla extract continuing to whisk until you have a smooth batter. This can rest in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
2                    When you are ready to make the pancakes, heat a non-stick over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, rub it with piece of kitchen paper dipped in oil.
3                    Pour approximately 60-70mls of batter into the pan to form a pancake approximately 8 – 10cm in diameter. As the batter hits the hot surface, tilt the pan slightly in a circular motion so that the batter spreads out evenly.
4                    Cook for about a minute or until the pancake loosens when the pan is shaken back and forth. Slide an egg-slice or spatula under the pancake and carefully turn it to continue cooking for another minute. (Now could be the time to test your pancake-flipping skills...)
5                    Serve immediately with wedges of lemon and sugar or honey.
Happy Pancake Day!
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