Did you ever wonder why so many churches sponsor pancake breakfasts the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday? Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as it is now commonly called), is the day observant Christians traditionally used up their butter and eggs before the start of Lent. Since meat, butter, eggs and milk were forbidden foods during the fasting period leading up to Easter, the solution was to add a little flour to the milk, eggs and butter and make pancakes — lots of them!
Although food restrictions have relaxed over the years, the tradition of serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday continues, and churches take this opportunity to serve massive amounts of fluffy pancakes to help raise money for worthy causes.
Pancakes make a great meal at any time of the day. Here is one of our favorite basic pancake recipes.
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Additional melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the first six ingredients together. Gradually add flour; blend until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes.
Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with butter. Add 2 generous tablespoons batter, tilting pan to coat bottom. Cook until golden on bottom, about 45 seconds. Turn pancake over. Cook until bottom is speckled with brown, about 30 seconds. Turn out onto paper towel. Cover with another paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter as needed.
Butter ovenproof dish. Sift powdered sugar over speckled side of each pancake, then sprinkle lightly with lemon juice; fold pancakes into quarters. Overlap pancakes in prepared dish. Cover; bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with more powdered sugar and lemon juice, or with maple syrup, if desired.
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