Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrove Tuesday

It happens once a year, and really, how can you turn down a night that makes having pancakes for dinner acceptable! 

A quick check with Wikipedia told me:
Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English speaking countries.
In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Shrove Tuesday did not happen at Matt's home and he still finds this whole pancake for dinner day weird but delicious. I'm actually not a big pancake fan, or at least I wasn't until I tried the famous Bruce Paltrow's Buttermilk Pancake recipe. It's Gwyneth's dad, and they are worth the hype. I've made them for a ton of people and I'm always asked for the recipe. 

Bruce Paltrow's World Famous Pancakes
From My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow (surprisingly, a great cookbook!)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon salt 
3 eggs (preferably organic) 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1/2 tsp per batch to grease pan 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
About 1/2 cup whole milk 
Maple syrup

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs, 3 tbsp butter and buttermilk in another bowl. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. (Small lumps are fine.)
Cover batter and let rest overnight in the refrigerator. *
Heat a large greased griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add milk to batter until it reaches desired consistency; the more milk, the thinner and more delicate the pancakes. Working in batches of three pancakes, spoon batter onto griddle or skillet. Cook until surface of pancake is covered with bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle  maple syrup over pancakes and serve. 

* I don't always make them the night before, they are just as tasty if you don't although the consistency is a little different, more fluffy, less crepey. I find if they aren't refrigerated overnight, the extra milk is not needed.

I served ours with sliced bananas and a very quick and easy raspberry coulis.

Raspberry Coulis
2 cups
fresh or frozen raspberries 
1/4 cup icing sugar
juice of half a lemon

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. Let cool and add lemon juice.
You can, to make it more pro, press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to have a smooth sauce. I skipped this step, I like the chunks of raspberry.
Add more lemon juice or sugar to taste.

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