Cooking With Chris – Flippin’ Pancakes!
Easter falls quite early this year, making Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day occur on 16th February. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the start of the Christian fasting period of Lent. To this end, all the eggs, flour, milk, butter and lard needed to be used up; the easiest way to do this was to make pancakes. The word ‘shrove’ comes from the word ‘shrive’, meaning to be absolved after confession. Pancake Day is one of our oldest traditions that can be traced back to Anglo-Saxons times. I can’t quite remember that far back, but I can remember Mum making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, hers where about half an inch thick, and served with sugar and lemon juice. The juice was the ‘Jif’ kind, coming from a squeezable plastic lemon. It wasn’t until the seventies that I actually held a real lemon in my hand!
There are many recipes using pancake ingredients around the world. This Spanish one for Churros is Trisha’s favourite.
2 ½ Tbsps. Caster sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsps. Vegetable oil or lard
125g plain flour
oil for deep frying
100g caster sugar (for rolling cooked Churros in)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 ½ tbsps. sugar, salt and 2 tbsps. vegetable oil. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Stir in flour until the mixture forms a ball. Heat oil for frying in a deep fryer or deep frying pan to 190C. Pipe strips of the dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden, drain on kitchen paper. Combine 100g of sugar and cinnamon. Roll warm churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.