Pile of pancakes

Today is pancake day, the day when we all stock up on eggs, flour, butter and milk in order to use them up before the start of Lent. I like to use Delia’s recipe because, well, why wouldn’t you? Also, she tells you to do “a test pancake” at the beginning, which is a beautifully elegant way of acknowledging that the first pancake of the batch is always inedible. Here are my other tips.

  • Delia suggests stacking the pancakes between greaseproof paper over a bowl of simmering water, so that they don’t get cold. I expect if you are making pancakes as part of a formal dinner this is worth doing, but I have never attended a pancake party where we didn’t just eat the pancakes as we went along. Pancakes are by their very nature an on-the-hop sort of food.
  • That said, take your time. You don’t have to do everything at breakneck speed, and if your pancakes cool down, or you run out of batter before everyone is fed, DON’T PANIC. You can always make extra, or have some ice cream instead.
  • Top pancake fillings:
  1. Emmental with tomato passata (use more cheese than tomato, and season with black pepper)
  2. Spinach, garlic and mushrooms
  3. Lemon and sugar (Delia says caster sugar, but I prefer the crunchiness of granulated)
  4. Ice cream and chocolate sauce (but you really do need a hot pancake for this one)
  • If all else fails, order a takeaway and console yourself with the knowledge that there are people who do this for a living, and it is within your power to take advantage of their expertise. My favourite pancake place is the stall at the western end of Exmouth Market on Thursday and Friday lunchtimes. Tell Dominique I sent you.