Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as it’s also known, is traditionally feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. It always falls 40 days before Easter so the date will move each year but will remain between 3rd February and 9th March. This year, Pancake Day is 13th February.
Christians used Shrove Tuesday as the last opportunity to use up forbidden ingredients including eggs and fats before beginning the lent fast; pancakes being the perfect all-in-one way!
Pancakes have been featured in cookery books dating back as far as 1439 and the tradition of tossing or flipping them are just as old: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).
It is believed that tossing the pancake originates from London’s Westminster School where a verger from the Abbey led a procession of boys into the schoolyard for the Annual Pancake Grease. The school’s cook tossed a huge pancake over a 5m-high bar. The boys scrambled for a piece and the one who obtained the largest piece received a cash prize. Some say that if you hold a coin in your left hand while you toss a pancake you’ll be rich.
Pancake Day is now something fun that everyone can get involved with, no matter your age or skill. They can come in many shapes and sizes; there is no right or wrong way to present them.
For the messy cooks out there, Pancake Day is perhaps the one and only time it is acceptable or encouraged to throw your food around the kitchen.
Andy Giles, Head Chef at SEVENTEEN at One Warwick Park Hotel, shares his favourite recipe and fillings with us:
Thin pancakes are a personal favourite for me. Follow a traditional pancake mix with:
- 110g of plain flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml of milk
- 75ml of water
Flavour wise for me I always go sweet and traditional with lemon and sugar, but to be adventurous I tend to go down the route of Nutella with special toppings; melted marshmallow’s and jelly babies’ works well for the ultra-sweet toothed pancake eater!
Simply fill your pancake with Nutella, fold into a triangle and place your marshmallows and jelly babies on top. Place in the oven for 5 minutes until they start to melt.
Don’t eat too quickly as it will be very hot, but it will be a fantastic sticky mess!
Happy Pancake Day!