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Serves: Makes 12 - 14

Ingredients

a good knob of butter, melted
150 ml (¼ pt) each of milk & water, mixed
110 g (4 oz) plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 egg and 1 yolk
vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking

Perfect Pancakes

To make a super-speedy batter, blitz all the ingredients (except the oil) in a liquidizer/blender until smooth. However, this won’t work in a processor.

Method

1.Mix the melted butter into the milk and water. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, add the egg, the yolk and a little of the milk mixture.
2.Using a small whisk or wooden spoon mix the wet ingredients incorporating small amounts of the flour from the edges as you go. As the mixture gets thicker add a little more of the milk mixture, but not too much at once. Try to keep it the consistency of double cream as this will prevent lumps forming, but don’t worry about odd the one, as it will whisk or beat out easily.
3.When all the flour has been incorporated scrape around the edge of the bowl with a spatula to loosen any leftover bits of flour. Whisk in the rest of the liquid. The batter should be smooth and the consistency of single cream. Cover and set aside for ½ hour to allow the starch grains to burst and produce a lighter pancake.
4.Grease the pan with a little vegetable oil using a brush, or wipe with lightly oiled kitchen towel. Heat until very hot.
5.Pour 1-2 tbsp of batter into the pan and swirl around until the batter coats the bottom of the pan thinly and evenly. Cook until golden brown on the underside – about 1 minute – and then flip over using your fingers and a palette knife. Cook until golden brown. This side will brown in ‘spotty’ patches. Tip onto a plate and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Interleave the cooked pancakes with baking paper to stop them sticking.

Hints & Tips
•Pancakes should be very thin. If the batter is too thick, thin with a little milk or water.
•For perfectly thin pancakes you may find it easier to pour slightly more batter into the pan than required, then, once the bottom of the pan is thinly coated, quickly pour the excess back into the mixing bowl. When the batter’s set, cut off the lip created by pouring the excess back and discard.
•Pancakes freeze beautifully, interleaved with baking paper or some such.
•For tasty green speckled pancakes add chopped herbs to the batter.

Filling Suggestions – Savoury
•Ham, cheese & melted butter, topped with an egg (poached or fried), chilli flakes, Parmesan and chives (pictured).
•Mushrooms fried with garlic & tarragon until golden; crème frâiche stirred in to make a creamy sauce.
•Smoked salmon, crème frâiche or cream cheese, capers and dill. Quick-pickled cucumber, red onions and/or fennel would be good too.
•Feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, black olives and oregano.
•Flaked cooked salmon, watercress and hollandaise sauce.
•Fresh crab, mayonnaise, chilli flakes and rocket.
•Asparagus, chopped egg, anchovy butter & pine nuts.
•Creamy spinach - wilted spinach with nutmeg, Dijon mustard and crème frâiche sauce.

Sweet
•Buttery fried bananas dribbled with melted chocolate or Nutella.
•Blueberries, yoghurt and honey.
•Ice Cream, salted caramel sauce (available in supermarkets)
•Fried apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, double cream.
•Poached rhubarb crushed Amaretti biscuits.
•Blood oranges, Cointreau

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