Shrove Tuesday – hurray! The best opportunity / excuse of the year to dive into a stack of my favourite small, slightly risen ‘crempog‘ buttermilk pancakes; and to indulge in my annual endeavour to spread the word on their deliciousness. Crempog are of Welsh tradition but think American pancakes and you are on the right lines.
It is the buttermilk’s chemical reaction with the bicarbonate of soda which give the bubble and rise. The batter is dropped onto a hot griddle or frying pan and then flipped over as each pancake puffs up.
This year I am going to throw a handful of raspberries into the batter. The pancakes’ quick-cooking gets the raspberries going just enough to release their flavour without them losing their shape. Madly unseasonal, I know, but I have a small stash of good ones in the freezer. Their sweetness will marry gorgeously with the gentle acidity and depth the buttermilk gives.
There’s no sugar in these pancakes. The raspberries and a drizzle of honey between the pancake layers gives all the sweetness that’s needed. Too good to only have on Shrove Tuesday, that’s for sure.
Sweet Raspberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes approx 16 pancakes – enough for 4 people having a stack of 4
25g butter – melted and cooled
180g plain flour
1 egg – beaten
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp lemon juice
a handful of raspberries
a little more butter for the cooking
1. Sieve the flour. Whisk into that the melted butter and then the buttermilk until you have a smooth batter. Add the beaten egg. Just before you’re ready to start cooking mix in thoroughly the bicarbonate of soda and the lemon juice. Gently stir through the raspberries.
2. Grease your frying pan or griddle with a small knob of butter. Get it hot. Then drop in spoonfuls of batter so that each pancake is about 3” wide, doing three or four at a time. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes until bubbly and puffed up and the underside is golden brown. Flip them over and do the other side.
3. Keep the pancakes warm while you finish the rest; building up your stacks as you go with a little butter and a drizzle of honey between each layer.