Yesterday was Pancake Tuesday in Ireland and for all of you out there who don't know about this wonderful day, Pancake Tuesday is a tradition in Ireland & England linked to the beginning of Lent; it is traditionally celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday. Back in the day, it was a way to use up all the rich foods before Lent (like flour, eggs, sugar and milk); these days it is a good way to have a last go at the sweet treats that people will give up for lent or, like in our case, an excuse to have a FULL dinner based on sweet, fluffy pancakes! (or hotcakes as they're called in Mexico).
If you ask my Irish niece and nephew, they will very confidently tell you, that Auntie Lily makes the best pancakes in the whole wide world. Very early in their young lives (Niamh is six and Liam four) they established that pancakes are THE ONLY breakfast they would ever have in my house. I cannot get out of making pancakes whenever they're staying with us. From the moment I taught Niamh to flip a pancake, to break an egg and to hold the electric mixer, she was in love with pancakes. When she was younger, she would get so excited about making them for breakfast the following day, that she would hardly sleep at all. One day, when she was about three, she woke me up in the middle of the night and said "auntie Lily, I love you" (my heart melted on the spot) and after a small pause she asked "can we make pancakes now?"
Over time, I have perfected my pancake making skills. I prefer scotch pancakes (thicker and fluffier than regular pancakes) and as any self-respecting Mexican, I take mine stacked in twos, with loads of butter and with a generous splash of condensed milk (reason why I tend to have them every now and then only). To vary the flavour, I add fresh blueberries to the basic recipe, or a grated apple and a pinch of cinnamon. The basic mix once made can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. So here it is, my favourite pancake recipe; wherever you are, have a lovely Pancake Tuesday and enjoy the feast.
Put the milk in a jug and add the vinegar/lemon juice
In a big bowl, whisk in the vegetable oil, honey and eggs until they're incorporated. You can use a hand whisk or an electric mixer, whatever is easiest for you. Oh and remember the old trick of measuring the oil first and then using the oily spoon to measure the honey, it avoids sticky spoons!
Add the vinegary milk and mix well and follow with the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk well until you have a consistent batter and all lumps are gone. You want as smooth as possible mixture. At this point you can flavour your pancakes by folding fresh fruit in the mix. You can use sliced bananas, whole blueberries, or a grated apple and 1/4 spoon of cinnamon. You can be naughty and use chocolate chips too!
Heat a non-stick pan or pancake griddle and pour a generous spoonful of the batter. Cook at medium heat until the pancake looks set and bubbles are formed all over it. Flip it carefully and cook it for a few seconds on the other side. They should be golden brown.
Enjoy them hot, smothered in butter and condensed milk. What a treat!