This morning I made Blueberry Pancakes because I had a large punnet of blueberries in my freezer that I’d had earmarked for using in muffins one day, but I figured I might try them in a stack of pancakes instead. I bought the blueberries at a brilliant reduced price from Marks and Spencer and although I had no immediate use for them I thought I’d freeze them to use another day. (The freezing process makes no difference to the taste of the berries whatsoever and is a good, handy way to make sure I have nice fruit at hand to add to recipes.)
Sometimes on a Sunday morning it’s nice to push the boat out and make something for breakfast that’s a bit more time consuming than usual, but well worth it in terms of taste. For me, American pancakes fall into that category. I could eat pancakes any time of the day, any day of the week, but they are a bit of a faff-on to make from scratch because of the time it takes to cook them. However, these American pancakes take no time at all thanks to being able to chuck all of the ingredients into a jug and whisk them together before simply frying them.
When I was a kid I loved pancake day because it was a day in which you were legitimately allowed to eat dessert for dinner. Dad was always the designated pancake maker and, apart from the first one which is always a dud anyway, they were consistently outstanding. We’d wait patiently (or impatiently) to receive each individually made pancake from the frying pan and eat them piping hot, sprinkled with Jif lemon juice and drizzled with a generous coating of Tate and Lyle’s golden syrup. Delicious!
Although nowadays my adult palate baulks at the idea of solely eating sweet pancakes for dinner on Shrove Tuesday, I do insist on following tradition and I tend to make them after a small sensible dinner as a tasty dessert. The topping choices seem endless in today’s day and age, but the first pancake on my plate is always decorated with lemon juice and golden syrup. Any other topping just seems out of place until I’ve had my citrus-laden, tart, but sweet one.
I was a bit apprehensive about trying to create a recipe for vegan pancakes because I was unsure whether an eggless, milk-free pancake mix would yield the same results as a standard pancake mix would, but I have to say, vegan pancakes taste exactly the same as ‘normal’ pancakes. I’ve never liked really thick, dense pancakes (unless they’re fluffy little Scotch pancakes) and have always preferred a thin, crispy crêpe. Thankfully, this vegan pancake recipe makes lovely light crêpes that have just the right tasty crispiness to fold around your chosen fillings.
On the subject of pancake fillings, the list of possibilities is endless: lemon juice; golden syrup; maple syrup; honey; nuts; whipped cream or coconut cream; melted chocolate; or fresh fruit. Another option is to leave the sugar out of the mix which would allow you to use the crêpes with savoury fillings, such as cream cheese (or vegan alternatives), cooked meats, grated cheddar, crispy bacon, roasted vegetables, or sundried tomatoes and pesto.
Whether you want to make pancakes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday or simply to worship the joy that is the humble pancake, give these a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Ingredients for the vegan pancakes:
200g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F Plain Flour)
2 tbsps of sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
400ml of rice milk (or normal milk)
2 tbsps of sunflower oil (or 1 egg, if non-vegan) (plus more oil for frying)
Toppings can include: Lemon juice; Golden Syrup; Maple syrup; Jam; fresh fruit; Nutella (or vegan alt.); Nuts, etc.
Put all of your pancake ingredients (without the toppings, obviously!) in a jug and whisk together until it is smooth.
Put a non-stick pancake pan or frying pan on a medium heat with a little sunflower oil (around 1 tsp).
Once the oil is hot, slowly pour some of the pancake mix into the centre of the pancake pan, tilting the pan as you pour so the mixture spreads into a thin disc. (They don’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress if they’re weird shapes. Trust me, they’ll still taste amazing.)
Let the pancake cook on one side until it’s crispy and golden brown when you lift the edge up with a fish slice.
Flip the pancake over and cook the other side until it’s also crisp and brown.
Remove from the pancake pan and place on a baking tray. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve them and carry on making more until all of the mix is used up.
Adorn your pancakes with your chosen toppings and serve.