Pancakes

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I use a small non-stick frying pan about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter for these. The batter makes about 10–12 pancakes, which are not huge, and if your frying pan is bigger you’ll get less. This makes just enough for our family of four (allowing for one or two leftovers), with two each being just about perfect for the children. We often have our first one with lemon juice and a scattering of cinnamon sugar and our second with maple syrup and whipped cream. If we make it to the third one, then that’s nice with a dollop of home-made jam. Often, if I make the pancakes for dinner, I put a little leftover batter in the fridge for the next morning, when I make a couple for the kids with jam. If the batter looks a bit thick after a night in the fridge, just thin it down with a little milk. A pinch or two of ground aniseed in the batter is a nice addition that even children seem to like.

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Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250 ml(9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
  • butter, for frying

To Serve

  • freshly whipped cream
  • caster (superfine) sugar
  • lemon wedges
  • maple syrup
  • ground cinnamon

Method

Whip together the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Add the flour and baking powder alternately with the milk, whisking well until it’s smooth. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for at least half an hour.

Melt a little butter in a non-stick frying pan — just enough to coat the bottom. When it’s sizzling, add a small ladleful of batter. Tilt the pan so that the batter swirls out and around to thinly cover the bottom, mingling with some of the butter. Fry over medium heat until the underside is nicely golden, using a spatula to lift up the edge to check. Loosen the side with the spatula and flip the pancake over. Fry until the new underside is lightly golden, then slide out of the pan onto a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter, adding more butter when you need it. The first pancake is often not so great, but once you’ve got the hang of it and have got the pan temperature perfect, they’ll work well.

Put out bowls of whipped cream, caster sugar, lemon wedges, maple syrup and enough cinnamon for everyone to help themself to their own favourite topping. Make cinnamon sugar by mixing 3 teaspoons of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and that’s lovely with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top.