Recipe: English Pancakes

In England, Pancake Day is officially part of the nation's calendar. The day before the Christian season of Lent is dedicated to the mass consumption of this slim, buttery, tender cake.

Makes 6 to 8

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • extra butter to cook the pancakes

Sift the flour, sugar (if using), and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center.

Add the egg and a drizzle of milk and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk, adding the remaining milk as you whisk. Continue to beat until smooth then stir in the melted butter. Leave to stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

Melt a teaspoon of butter in a medium sized non-stick frying and swirl it around in the pan. Pour a ladleful of the batter into the hot pan, rotating the pan as you pour so that the batter thinly covers the base. Cook for one minute or until the pancake starts to curl round the edges.

Flip and cook until lightly golden brown. Slide the pancake onto a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with the remaining batter to make eight pancakes in total, layering each pancake between wax paper.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with sugar and with lemon wedges or smothered in Nutella, maple syrup, peanut and jelly, warm chocolate sauce ... the possibilities are endless.

To read Nadia Arumugam's post about England's pancake-centric version of Mardi Gras, click here for the story.

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Nadia Arumugam is a writer in New York City and the author of the cookbook, Chop, Sizzle & Stir. Her work has appeared in Fine Cooking, Slate, Epicurious, NPR, and Saveur, and she writes the Chew On This blog for Forbes.com.

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