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Traditional Tipperary Pancake Recipe

pancakes

Today is officially Shrove Tuesday, ‘Shrove,’ being the past tense of the English verb ‘Shrive,’ meaning the day before Ash Wednesday & on which Christians obtain absolution for personal sin, prior to the start of the solemn observance of Lent.

The period called Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert. Lent this year begins on Wednesday, February 13th and ends on Saturday, March 30th.

Of course Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, because it is the day Irish people traditionally eat pancakes. Pancake recipes in the past were observed as a way of using up any unused stocks of milk, butter and eggs which were often forbidden as part of Lenten abstinence.

The French term ‘Mardi Gras,’ which we associate more with a Carnival season, means ‘Fat Tuesday,’ referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods, before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Required Ingredients For Pancake Batter

225g or 8 oz of plain flour.
A pinch of salt.
2 large, fresh eggs.
600ml or 2½ cupfuls of milk.
2 tsp of melted butter.

Sieve the measured flour into a large bowl & then stir in the salt. Lightly beat together the eggs, the 2 tsp of butter & half the milk.  Pour same into a prepared well in the centre of your flour and whisk until smooth and lump free. This completed, now add the remaining milk to this batter and continue to stir. Leave the batter to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Next heat your frying pan and lightly grease the base of same with extra melted butter for cooking. Pour a thin layer of your batter over the base of the pan. Cook until the edges start to curl slightly back, then depending on your culinary skills, either toss the pancake, or use a palette knife to loosen it around the edges and to flip your pancake over.
Cook the pancake briefly on this flipped new side, then slide it from the pan unto to a waiting plate, placing a sheet of kitchen paper on top & between each pancake. Continue to cook your remaining batter in similar fashion.

Pancakes were traditionally eaten, spread with honey or with syrup, nowadays we are more inclined to sprinkle with sugar and add perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice. Your pancakes however can be filled with just about anything, e.g. Jam, chocolate spread, crispy streaky rashers, scrambled eggs & smoked salmon, canned cherry pie filling, fried sliced bananas, ice cream, cream cheese ……. whatever you fancy.

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