If you’re anything like me, every year you’ll forget that Pancake Day is around the corner.
Cue a last-minute trip to the petrol station to pick up supplies and frantic googling of ‘perfect pancake recipes’ in order to not disappoint the kids.
Well, don’t worry – take this as your timely reminder… and this year we’ve got your crepes covered with the help of staff and students at Coast training restaurant in Hastings, who have rustled up some classic pancake recipes for you to enjoy – without the stress.
As part of East Sussex College, Coast training restaurant is staffed by hospitality and culinary art students with support from a vocational skills practitioner, restaurant manager and head chef. The students prepare, cook, present and serve contemporary dishes to the public as part of their training, at an affordable price.
The classic pancake batter:
- 2 eggs
- 400 ml of milk
- 120 grams of flour
- 10 grams of melted butter
- 10 grams of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Put the eggs and milk, salt and sugar into a bowl and whisk.
- Sieve the flour and gradually add to the egg mix and whisk to a smooth batter.
- Mix in the melted butter.
- To cook pancakes, take a small frying pan and add a little oil. Heat until very hot and, using a ladle, add sufficient batter to cover the base of the pan. Cook for a few seconds until brown, then turn and cook on the other side.
- Turn out on to a warm plate, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice and roll up. Serve immediately. Or leave to cool and layer with greaseproof paper and cover. These can then be frozen.
NB. Alternative flours can be used for gluten free options, such as rice flour, potato flour and gram (chickpea) flour.
Once you’ve got the basic batter sorted, you can get creative.
Chef lecturer John Day says, “Once you’ve made the base pancake, the only thing that limits you is your own imagination. You can make savoury toppings or fillings like ham and cheese, spinach and ricotta, leek and cheese or sweet fillings like pureed apple or other fruits. With the classic lemon and sugar pancake, you can change the traditional lemon juice to orange and then add melted chocolate to create something different.”
Still in need of inspiration?
If you’re not sure where to start, or are just looking to serve something a little different, why not try these two recipes from the lecturers at Coast?
4-6 pancakes made from standard recipe
- 125 grams of ricotta cheese
- 150 grams of spinach
- 80 grams of grated parmesan
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Crème fraiche or yoghurt
- Salt and pepper
- Wash the spinach and steam in a saucepan with a little butter. Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 mins. When done, drain well in a sieve and leave to cool.
- Squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach and chop finely. Place in a clean bowl and add the ricotta and half the parmesan. Season well with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Mix together well.
- Make pancakes.
- Place a pancake on a flat surface, put a good spoonfull of the mixture in the centre and spread. Roll up and place in a greased baking dish. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
- Mix the crème fraiche or yoghurt with 20 grams of the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over each pancake. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 mins.
- Serve hot from the oven, with garlic bread and a side salad.
4-6 pancakes made from standard recipe
- 2 cooking apples
- 50-75 grams caster sugar
- 50ml brandy or calvados
- 80ml water
- Peel, core and thinly slice apples, place into saucepan with a little water – about 50ml. Place over a moderate heat, allow to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the apples start to break up.
- Add sugar and brandy and stir well. Continue to cook until the apple is completely soft and a smooth puree has been achieved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Make the pancakes.
- Turn out each pancake on to a plate spread with apple and roll up. Dust with icing sugar and brown under a hot grill or use a cook’s blow torch.
Once you’ve had your fill of pancakes, why not try a visit to the Coast restaurant and tickle your tastebuds with one of their two (£9.95) or three-course (£11.95) lunches? Throughout the year the students practice a variety of service styles and techniques including silver service and different types of table theatre. On Thursday evenings, they even offer a five-course dining experience for £22.95 per person. That includes a complimentary cocktail or mocktail and canapés on arrival, five courses including a fish course and sorbet, and then to finish off your meal, a choice of tea or coffee.
- To make a reservation at Coast restaurant, please call 01424 458535 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you got any top tips for a cracking crepe? If so just leave your ideas in the comments below – we’d love to hear them!