Batter up! Donal Skehan's perfect pancake batter
These simple pancakes are just perfect for some indulgent toppings this Pancake Tuesday.
The best thing about a great pancake batter is recipe is that once you have perfected it, you can change and adapt it with all your favourite flavours and toppings. You can easily make this batter on Monday night to save time in the morning. Have a little melted butter in a bowl and some kitchen paper so you can wipe the pan before adding a ladle of the batter.
You will need
110g of plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
200ml of milk
75ml of water
2 tbsp of melted butter
Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and with a spoon make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and using a whisk slowly incorporate them with the flour. Don't worry too much about lumps as they should disappear when you add the rest of the liquid. Gradually add the milk and water until you have a light batter.
Heat a little butter in your frying pan over a hot heat, and add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the batter, stir through to combine. Add a ladle full of the batter to the hot pan and move from side to side until it evenly covers the surface of the pan. Reduce the heat and cook for about a minute each side or until the batter begins to take a nice golden colour.
Feel free to try your hand at flipping half-way through! Serve straight away with your filling of choice. Alternatively, you can cook all the batter off and save the pancakes for later. Simply layer the crepes on top each other, cover with some cling film and store in the fridge. They should heat up well in a microwave.
If you invest in one thing for Pancake Tuesday, which falls this week, make sure it’s a good non-stick pancake pan. Your old frying pan just won’t cut it if you want to get some serious air on your pancakes! These shallow, non-stick pans ensure perfectly cooked, thin crèpes. Pick them up in specialty kitchen shops like Stock on Dublin’s South King Street.
A homemade fruit compote couldn’t be simpler and dolloped on top of fresh pancakes, it’s a thing of true beauty. To make your own add 500g of mixed berries (fresh or frozen) to a large pan with 2-3 tbsp of water and the seeds of a fresh vanilla pod. Bring to the boil and simmer for no more than 5 minutes so the fruit holds its shape, and that’s it! Store in a sealed container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
My Favourite Toppings
Mix 6 tbsp of crème fraîche, 1 tsp each of icing sugar and vanilla extract together and set aside. Spread 3 tbsp of strawberry jam on to the pancake then dollop the crème fraîche mixture on top and sprinkle a handful of strawberries over the mixture before rolling the pancake up.
Another option is to make caramelised bananas. Coat 3 bananas, sliced lengthways, in 2 tbsp of demerera sugar and set aside. Place 100g of dark chocolate in a bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water and let it melt. In a frying pan, fry the bananas on a medium heat with a knob of butter until they have a nice colour on all sides. Spread the pancake with the melted chocolate, top with the bananas and sprinkle over finely chopped hazelnuts.