Pancake Day in London
Pancake races and batter-based feasts come to London this Shrove Tuesday
Get your frying pans at the ready folks, February 12 2013 is Shrove Tuesday and this year's pancake action need not be confined to the kitchen. Pancake races across the city will see everyone from hipsters to MPs tossing their way towards the finish line. And don't worry if your pancakes turn out to be a flop, you can always check out the best places in London to get a pancake. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
When is Pancake Day?
Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday) takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday. Because the date of Easter Sunday is dictated by the cycles of the moon, Pancake Day can occur anytime between February 3 and March 9. In 2013 it takes place on February 12.
What is Pancake Day?
Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before Lent, traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with clearing your cupboards of goods such as sugar, fats and eggs. It's commonly known as Pancake Day because it represents a good opportunity to use such ingredients ahead of the fasting period.
This all-day diner has huge breakfast and brunch offerings, but also offers sweet or savoury pancakes, served all-day. There are branches in Soho, Islington, Hoxton and Spitalfields.
- 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
A good range of sweet and savoury fillings is offered at this fast food café chain, along with a small selection of pastries including waffles.
- 173 Wardour St, W1F 8WT
This creperie offers a huge range of fillings, from tartiflette (potato, cheese, lardons) to chicken and peanut butter. They happily take requests for variations too.
- 63 Dean St, W1D 4QG
The breakfast menu at this trendy Fitzrovia brasserie includes buttermilk pancakes served with berries, vanilla clotted cream and maple syrup. The juice and smoothie choice is excellent too.
- 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ
Follow our simple pancake recipe
To make 1 inedibly thick pancake, 4/5 OK pancakes and 1 scrappy one for the dog, you’ll need:
4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
If you’re taking the DIY approach: sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the egg into it. Whisk the egg in, incorporating all the flour. Add the milk gradually, whisking as you go. When all the liquid has been added, go on whisking until the batter is smooth. If there’s time, leave it to stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. If there isn’t, don’t.
Melt the butter and use kitchen paper to grease the frying pan (a pastry brush is also good for this but you’ll have to chuck it out afterwards).
Get the pan medium hot (the kids may be doing the cooking but parental supervision is obviously required; you don’t get a drink yet).
How much batter you need for each pancake depends on the size of your frying pan but it’s less than you expect, maybe a tablespoon full?
Shoogle the batter in the pan to coat the base evenly. To see when the first side’s done, lift the edge with a palette knife (if you realise at this point that you don’t own a palette knife, use whatever scraping thing you do own and make sure that by next Pancake Day you’ve bought one, as well as replaced your wrecked pan).
Grip the frying pan handle with both hands and toss the pancake with abandon. Rescue the pancake from the floor if necessary, saying, ‘That’ll be fine – good thing the floor’s clean’.
Cook the other side till it’s done.
Serve with a pile of lemon wedges to squeeze over and the sugar bowl on hand; you may also need the Nutella jar.