My dad used to enjoy making these for tea when we were kids. (Tea means dinner in the UK if you were wondering.) This must have been one of those recipes that reminded him of his own childhood. He had emigrated from Poland to England after having served in Anders’ Army – under the command of the British – in World War II. After the war was over, he told us they were given a choice between living in Italy or the UK. Needless to say, he ended up living in England. Like a true Brit, he was always complaining about the bloody weather – and how bad it was for his sinuses. Despite the weather, the pancakes kept coming.
For vegan pancakes, substitute the milk with almond milk, the eggs with 3 tablespoons broken flax seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of boiling water, and add a tablespoon of corn starch to the flour.
For French-style crepes, use buckwheat flour.
Makes about 8 thin, large pancakes.
300 ml (1⅓ cups) milk
120 ml (½ cup) lukewarm water
160 g (1 cup) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
120 g (4 ounces) cream cheese
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Oil for frying
- Crack the egg and whisk in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, and whisk again until frothy.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Sift the flour little by little, and gently whisk into the milk until it forms a smooth batter without any lumps. (Use an electric blender if necessary.) If it still feels too thick, add an extra tablespoon of milk one at a time – gluten-free flours may need more liquid than wheat flour. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat a non-stick frying pan on low–medium flame with a little oil until a drop of the mixture sizzles on touching the oil.
- Pour approximately 60 ml (¼ cup) of batter into the middle of the frying pan. Tilt the pan to let it spread out, or use a crepe-spreader tool or the back of a spoon.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbles form and the shine on the batter, disappears, and the edges start to lift. The underside should have golden flecks. Then flip it over and cook for about 1 minute or about half the time it took for the first side to cook.
- Lift up the edge to check the colour underneath. Remove from the pan, and stack the pancakes on a warm plate. Repeat, until the batter is finished.
- If the batter thickens too much, add a tablespoon of water at a time to thin to the original consistency. (This is especially so if it has been resting in the fridge before using.)
- To serve, smear 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese across one end of the pancake and roll-up. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and a generous amount of confectioners sugar.