Shrove Tuesday: Pancake recipe and facts!
Known also as Shrove Tuesday, its exact date, rather confusingly, changes every year, because it is determined by when Easter falls.
Pancake Day has been celebrated by Britons for centuries, it is always the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), and always falls in February or March. This year, you'll need to get your pans ready for Tuesday, February 9th.
So, you don't have a pancake recipe to hand? Don't panic, just follow the recipe below and you will produce delicious pancakes in no time.
About 8 pancakes
110g plain flour
1 large egg
1/2 pint of milk
2 tbsp melted butter
Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Break in the egg, add a pinch of salt and a splash of the milk.
Whisk the egg, gradually incorporating the flour, to make a smooth cream. Whisk in the rest of the milk and the melted butter.
Put all the ingredients in a blender jug with a pinch of salt. Whizz until smooth. (If you don't have a blender, add all the ingredients and continue to whisk until a smooth consistency is obtained).
Brush a hot pan with oil before adding a ladleful of batter, tipping the pan so the mixture spreads evenly. Pour any excess back into the bowl.
When the pancake is browned on the bottom give the pan a shake to make sure the pancake is loose. If it is sticking, use a spatula to loosen it. When it moves freely you are ready to toss it. The other side will only need a few seconds.
Lastly, add your favourite topping. Lemon juice and sugar, fresh strawberries and yoghurt - the options are endless!
What does Shrove Tuesday mean?
The word "shrove" is a form of the English verb "shrive", which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and penance. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom of Christians to be "shriven" before the start of Lent.
Why do we celebrate Pancake Day?
Traditionally, pancakes were eaten on this day to use up rich, indulgent foods like eggs and milk before the 40-day fasting season of Lent began. Although it is enshrined in Christian tradition, it is believed that Pancake Day might originate in a pagan holiday, when eating warm, round pancakes - symbolising the sun - was a way of celebrating the arrival of spring.
Why do we flip pancakes?
As well as making and eating pancakes, in the UK, we love to hold pancake races, where people run while flipping their pancakes in a pan. Legend has it that the tradition was born in 1445 when a particularly disorganised woman in Olney, Buckinghamshire rushed to church to confess her sins while mid-way through making pancakes. We hope she gave one to the priest.
Pancake Day: Fun Facts
The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15.01m wide, 2.5cm deep, weighing 3 tonnes. It occurred in Rochdale in 1994.
The record for tossing a pancake the most times in 2 minutes belongs to Dean Gould who flipped one an impressive 424 times!
The largest number of pancake flips in the shortest amount of time is currently 349 flips in two minutes, a record achieved by Dean Gould in Felixstowe, Suffolk, in 1995.
In France, it is traditional while flipping a pancake to hold a coin in one hand and to make a wish.
The Guinness World Record for the tallest stack of pancakes has been toppled (60 pancakes) after Chef James Haywood piled 213 pancakes on top of each other.
It is estimated that an impressive 52 million eggs are used in Britain each year on pancake day - that's 22 million more than every other day of the year.
The French call pancake day Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. This originates from the ancient ritual of parading a large ox through Paris to remind people that meat was forbidden during the Lent period.
Pancake Day around Europe
Portuguese, Spanish, Italian: Carnival (to use the English spelling)
Denmark & Norway; Fastelavn
Happy Pancake day!