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Tasty Alternative Fillings to try this Pancake Day


With only 2 days to go until Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as we prefer to call it); households up and down the country will be doing a last minute dash to the supermarket to buy flour, eggs and other ingredients to whip up pancakes for their family. It is estimated that an impressive 52 million eggs are used in Britain each year on pancake day; which is 22 million more than every other day of the year!

Traditionally, pancakes were eaten on this day to use up all the rich, indulgent foods like eggs and milk that people had left in the house; before the fasting season of Lent began. However, Pancake Day is also believed to originate from a pagan holiday, when eating warm, round pancakes symbolised the sun and the arrival of spring.

Pancake Day is celebrated very differently around the world as in Newfoundland (Canada) they add objects with symbolic value to the batter to be cooked; to interpret different messages about their future, so a pancake served with a ring inside it may signify marriage. In Iceland, they call the day ‘Sprengidagur’ (Bursting Day) and it is marked by eating salted meat and peas.

In France, pancake day is called ‘Mardi Gras’, or ‘Fat Tuesday’ and originates from the ancient ritual of parading a large ox through Paris to remind people that meat was forbidden during the Lent period. Another traditional they have is to flip a pancake whilst holding a coin in one hand to make a wish.

Here in Britain, many of us like to take part in Pancake races which are thought to have originated in Olney in the 15th century; when it is said a woman lost track of time while cooking pancakes and so when the bells for mass rang, she ran out of her house with the pan and pancake still in hand. Olney still holds a pancake race every year to commemorate the day.

When it comes to our pancake fillings though, the British generally tend to keep our ingredients nice and simple; so, whether you prefer your pancakes sweet or savoury; we thought we would help you with some alternative fillings to try and ‘spice’ up your pancake day.

If you have a Sweet Tooth:

Strawberries & Cream – A popular English classic where you chop your strawberries and put them in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon (or dash of orange juice) and mix it with sugar. This can then be served on your pancake with whipped or extra thick double cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Greek Yogurt & Honey – This Mediterranean option is ideal if you’re watching your waistline but still fancy a treat; as you just spoon a generous heap of yogurt on to your pancake and drizzle over some clear honey with the option of adding a few almonds for some texture.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana – This is an indulgent and filling treat for fans of peanut butter. Just choose either chocolate sauce or melt your own cooking chocolate and drizzle it on your pancake with equal amounts of peanut butter. Add some sliced banana and fold over your pancake and if you fancy it sprinkle some chopped roasted almonds on top.

Blueberries & Syrup – Combine the cool mild taste of fresh blueberries with the rich aromatic sweetness of maple syrup; or alternatively golden syrup can be a good substitute.

If you prefer Savoury:

Bacon & Egg – Make yourself a breakfast treat on Pancake Day by adding some mashed potato to your pancake mix to make smaller, thicker pancakes and then serve them with bacon. This also works well with fried, scrambled or poached eggs and you could even have these pancakes as an alternative to hash browns and toast with your full English breakfast.

Salmon & Cream Cheese – Mix some cream cheese (light or full-fat), with some finely chopped chives, lemon juice and black pepper. Let your pancake cool slightly and spread on your cream cheese mix layering your smoked salmon on top. Roll your pancake tightly into a cylinder shape, and slice it into round pieces to create a fantastic brunch creation.

Chilli & Cheese – This option is inspired by the classic Mexican dish, chilli con-carne. Add some grated Jack cheese (or cheddar) and dollop on some sour cream for that authentic taste all wrapped up in a pancake instead of a tortilla.

Veggie ‘Fajita’ Pancakes – If you want a good vegetarian option, try throwing some paprika into your batter mix and perhaps some cayenne pepper if you like it a bit spicy. For your filling just stir some chickpeas into a pan with Arrabiata sauce and bring it to the boil. Simmer it for 2-3 minutes, stir in some coriander and remove it from the heat adding in some spinach leaves. Make your pancakes and add a dollop of yogurt for a cool touch and Tabasco to fire things up.

Stewed Apple & Cinnamon – This is a delicious option and is inspired by a traditional apple pie. Add in some cinnamon or nutmeg to add a deep spice aroma and a little extra brown sugar if you have a sweet tooth. It is best served hot but you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to finish it off.

Whilst these are all tasty options to consider this Pancake Day; if you prefer someone else to cook your pancakes for you (as yours always stick to the frying pan), come on down to The Fenny Kitchen where we will be cooking pancakes from 7am until 11pm with lots of yummy sweet and savoury options to choose from!

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