Different religions and cultures may called the day before the beginning of Lent by different names, but they all have one celebration in common: pigging out.
Josh grew up Episcopalian, so he calls the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday “Shrove Tuesday.” In the church, it’s the day for folks to be introspective. To figure out what they need to repent for, and what they need to work on during Lent.
Since that’s the kind of chore that obviously will take Josh all day (maybe longer,) it makes sense to start with a hearty breakfast. Not so coincidentally, Shrove Tuesday is also called “Pancake Tuesday.” Why? Because it’s the last day to rid the pantry of rich foods like dairy & eggs before Lent begins. And pancakes are the perfect way to use up both.
Rather than regular pancakes, we like to make these Puff Pancakes (also known as Dutch or German pancakes.) They’re showier. And since we don’t have a Carnivale celebration in Sharon Springs, we’ll take our Mardi Gras thrills however we can. (PolkaSpot refuses to go topless.) (During the winter months.) (Usually.)
The batter is more like a crepe batter than a traditional flapjack batter. Much eggier. But by adding cold batter to a hot pan, and then baking in the oven, they “puff” during cooking. They deflate rather quickly, and are traditionally sprinkled with lemon juice and powdered sugar before eating. Other traditional accompaniments include jams, marmalades, syrup and fruit.
While you’re pondering your sins, follow along with our step by step photo recipe. (Full recipe at bottom of post.)
First, get those evil pre-Lenten eggs out of your fridge. We’re using our duck eggs. We don’t have the heart to tell the ducks that if they continue laying through Lent they’ll go to hell.
The batter couldn’t be simpler to make. Just add it all together and beat it.
Cold + Heat is kinda important in this recipe. The batter is best chilled for an hour (or overnight.) The oven must be preheated. And the butter in the pan must be sizzling.
Has a bad day ever started with butter sizzling in a pan? We don’t think so.
We don’t have photos of this next step, because, well…it has to happen quickly. Once the butter is sizzling hot, we pour the batter into an 10 inch, oven-proof saute pan. Then it must be immediately transferred to the hot oven. That’s hard to do with one hand while taking photos of the other. But we think you can probably imagine that part. (No, we weren’t topless.)
The pancake bakes for 15-20 minutes. Resist the urge to check on it. Let it puff in peace. Once it’s brown on top, remove from the oven. It’s gonna deflate pretty quickly, so if there’s someone you want to show it to, have them handy.
Mmmm. Butter. We would really miss you during Lent if we were gonna give you up. But we’re not. Sorry God. Maybe next year.
You’ll definitely want to serve this warm, so quickly sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Either slide the entire pancake onto a waiting plate, or cut into slices.
Enjoy! For tomorrow we fast….or at least cut back. A little.
Prep time: 10 Min
Cook time: 23 Min
Total time: 1 Hour 33 Min
- ½ cup flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (substitute cinnamon or nutmeg)
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx ½ lemon)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine flour, milk, eggs, salt & cardamom in bowl. Beat with spoon until mostly smooth. (Some lumps are fine.)
In 10 inch oven-proof skillet, heat butter until sizzling, but not brown. Pour batter into hot butter and immediately transfer to oven. Bake for 15-20 or until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with jam or syrup.