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Tuesday 25 February 2014

Crespelle - Italian Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

Next Tuesday, 4th March, is Shrove Tuesday this year.  Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the day to use up all the rich foods in the house before Ash Wednesday and the start of the fasting season of Lent. It's also traditional to make pancakes, whether you take part in Lent or not, pancakes are a simple and delicious base for sweet or savoury toppings, so well worth using this annual reminder to cook some up. 

My pancake making was made really easy by the nice people at Tefal who sent me this 24cm  'Superior' frying pan.  It has Intensium, longer lasting, non-stick, an anti-warp base and the thermo-spot heat indicator that is a feature of Tefal pans.  It's even metal utensil safe, although I didn't use metal utensils. There's a Tefal Pancake Day website for great ideas for pancake making and a fun Tefal Pancake Selfie App

I've been reading this lovely book, Dear Francesca by Mary Contini.  It is a cookery book but full of well written stories from Mary's Italian family roots which she has written to pass on to her daughter Francesca.  Included in the book is a recipe for Crespelle or pancakes which Mary used to woo Francesca's father, it's a fairly standard pancake recipe although a little sweeter than I would usually make. 

Crespelle (makes 8 pancakes)
100g self-raising flour
300ml semi-skimmed milk
2 large free range eggs
2 tablespoons caster sugar
some melted butter

Sieve the flour then simply mix everything together, you can use an electric whisk, liquidiser or stick mixer.  However I put the flour into a large jug and added the eggs and milk gradually and mixed with a simple hand whisk (see the pictures above).  I then added the sugar and left the mixture to rest.  You need to do this for at least 10 minutes but I left it for a couple of hours as it suited me to make it early.

When you make the pancakes melt a little butter in the pan and when it starts to sizzle add just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cook until it browns underneath (lift it up with a spatula to see) and it should bubble on the top.  Then flip it over and cook the other side.

I layered the pancakes up with baking parchment to keep them separate and covered with a clean tea towel.

Winter Fruit Pancakes

This is a perfect store cupboard dessert, most of us will have the ingredients for these dried fruit pancakes in our larder, just use whichever dried fruit you happen to have.  I filled one batch of pancakes with a mixture of dried fruits, apricots, cranberries and raisins in some Walkmill Cider Apple and Amaretto Syrup (non-alcoholic), you can use orange juice or the booze of your choice.  I warmed the fruits and syrup through briefly in the microwave and left them to soak up the juice for a couple of hours. Do this at the same time as your batter is resting and everything will be ready at the same time. 
Fill and roll the pancakes and serve with cream or greek yogurt. 

Breakfast Pancakes - Roti Telor Style

I had three pancakes left over so decided to have them for our breakfast.  I would normally grill my bacon but am operating out of a temporary kitchen due to the work that is going on in my kitchen, so I fried  up the rashers in my Tefal Superior Frying pan then set to one side.

I drained off some of the fat from the bacon and added a pancake. Then I broke an egg onto the pancake and swirled it about.  Anyone who has been to Malaysia and eaten breakfast in a street cafe will have tried Roti Chanai (Pancakes with a curry sauce) but for added protein you can have Roti Telor.  All that means is that an egg is broken on top of the pancake, it was my husband's favourite when we visited Malaysia in the 1980s.  Before the egg is cooked add the bacon.

I found that I had to flip the pancake over to make sure the egg was fully cooked  and to enclose the bacon in the pancake.

There was only one thing missing...Maple Syrup!  Unfortunately, it wasn't something that I put in my temporary store cupboard, so we had to do without.

I'm entering both recipes for Shop Local, the blogger challenge run by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary to highlight the great products available in our local area. Walkmill Cider products are available at my local farmers market and the eggs I used in the pancakes and on the pancakes come from a local farm.

I'm also adding this to Credit Crunch Munch as both are cheap, cheerful and filling. CCC is the blog challenge of Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All and this month is hosted by My Golden Pear.
And finally the Pancakes Roti Telor Style made to use up the leftover pancakes is going into the No Waste Food Challenge run by London Unattached and Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

I was provided with a Tefal Superior Fry pan, I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own. 

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At 25 February 2014 at 20:13 , Anonymous Elizabeth said...

My husband and I have this ongoing 'debate' about pancakes. I think pancakes have to have a raising agent while he thinks crepes (without a raising agent) are pancakes. It's always amusing every time I make 'pancakes'! :) These look fantastic and I love the idea of wrapping the pancake around the bacon. Too bad you didn't have any maple syrup! Hopefully your kitchen refurb won't take too long now. Thanks for linking up with #ShopLocal and the #NoWasteFoodChallenge!

At 25 February 2014 at 20:32 , Anonymous Angela @ My Golden Pear said...

It's so easy to forget that a few simple basic ingredients can be so versatile and so tasty. I love the idea of adding a curry sauce - it's a new one for me. Thanks so much for taking part in Credit Crunch Munch.

At 25 February 2014 at 21:15 , Blogger Fab Food 4 All said...

You certainly got the most out of your yummy pancakes Janice, they are so versatile. Thanks for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)

At 25 February 2014 at 21:57 , Blogger Janice said...

I know what you mean Elizabeth but 'crepe' is just french and 'crespelle' is Italian for pancake! I guess if it's cooked in a pan, it's a pan-cake ;-)

At 25 February 2014 at 21:59 , Blogger Janice said...

It's an aquired taste for breakfast but would be great at other times of the day too.

At 25 February 2014 at 21:59 , Blogger Janice said...

Got to make the most of every scrap :-)

At 26 February 2014 at 15:22 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

I LOVE your Winter Fruit pancakes Janice and I am racking my brains what to make this Shrove Tuesday, I think it will be savoury! Karen

At 26 February 2014 at 16:50 , Anonymous London Unattached Food said...

Oh thank you for entering the No Waste Food Challenge - I am a really bad guest host I'm just not keeping up!


At 26 February 2014 at 19:24 , Blogger Choclette said...

Love pancakes of any description and don't make them nearly often enough. Didn't know there was such a thing as Italian pancakes though, so that's interesting to know.

At 27 February 2014 at 10:24 , Blogger Unknown said...

For the amount of pancakes I make I think need one of those pans.

At 27 February 2014 at 11:15 , Blogger Unknown said...

I use the Tefal pan at home and it is very good. I find myself using less oil in my cooking as the non-stick in their pans are very good. Excellent for pancake making and your winter fruits version looks delicious!

At 27 February 2014 at 12:40 , Blogger Janice said...

Not at all, Fiona. It's one of my favourite challenges.

At 27 February 2014 at 12:41 , Blogger Janice said...

I think pancakes are the same everywhere, it's just the language that is different, crepe, crespelle, pancake.

At 27 February 2014 at 12:42 , Blogger Janice said...

It's a super pan, Bintu. Quite solid and really good quality non-stick

At 27 February 2014 at 12:42 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks Tina. You are right, you do need less oil or butter.

At 27 February 2014 at 20:43 , Blogger GG said...

I didn't know pancakes were an Italian thing. I love all pancakes, these look delicious. GG

At 28 February 2014 at 00:18 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for reminding me about Pancake Day coming up! For some reason the past few years I seem to hear about it right after it'd happened! Great ideas for different kinds - I usually get sweet pancakes of some kind, but know lots of ppl that like savoury ones instead

At 28 February 2014 at 14:56 , Blogger Sylvia F. said...

They all looks droolworthy! I probably should make some pancakes for Shrove Tuesday as well!

At 28 February 2014 at 20:06 , Anonymous Lou, Eat Your Veg said...

I've read that very book, just after my daughter Francesca was born!. Such a beautifully written book and packed full of wonderful recipes, including the Crespelle :)

At 1 March 2014 at 10:05 , Blogger Janice said...

I think you get some kind of pancake everywhere!

At 1 March 2014 at 10:06 , Blogger Janice said...

If you make some tweet me and I'll come and have a look :-)

At 1 March 2014 at 10:07 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you, Sylvia

At 1 March 2014 at 10:08 , Blogger Janice said...

It is a delightful book, I believe there is another one written for her other daughter Olivia.

At 1 March 2014 at 21:34 , Blogger Unknown said...

And now I'm craving pancakes :)
Janie x

At 2 March 2014 at 09:37 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

The tefal pans are great, aren't they? I love mine, they make pancakes so easy. Although I have to say we have eaten so many pancakes over the last week, that I am truly getting fed up of them now. I do like your winter fruit pancakes, but maybe in a week or two.

At 2 March 2014 at 12:01 , Blogger Janice said...

There's only one remedy for that, Jane!

At 2 March 2014 at 12:01 , Blogger Janice said...

I can imagine. I only made these two types and that will probably be it until next year!

At 2 March 2014 at 18:39 , Blogger Chris Half said...

I definitely have to try the breakfast pancakes, next time I will have some bacon.

At 3 March 2014 at 17:25 , Anonymous Sew White said...

These look fabulous Janice. I love Tefal pans, I 'd love to get one for pancakes. I only have a huge pan which isn't easy to flip when the time comes. I will try your pancake recipe this week!


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