I made these for a late breakfast when my boyfriend visited last weekend, but the pancakes clung to the pan and we had to peel the wet batter from the bottom, the mixture gooey and still warm in our hands. Breakfast the day before had been a better success: ribbons of smoked salmon, soured with lemon; a chunk of Cambozola, marbled blue; sourdough toasted in the oven, and a few grapes, hastily polished beneath the tap and scattered around our plates.
This batch of pancakes may have been a failure, but when I made some for Pancake Tuesday a few weeks previously, the recipe had worked out rather well. There are certain rules when making pancakes though: be sure to use a good non-stick pan; enough but not too much oil or fat; and don’t be too liberal when pouring the batter. Of course, I can espouse my tried and tested wisdom now.
As a brunch, filled-pancakes are substantial. The season is already changing and rich, double-cream fillings don’t seem quite so necessary any longer, so make these while you can. Instead, I am starting to think about greens and pesto, a glut of courgettes, feta, fruity red peppers. Spring, I can almost taste you.
For the pancakes (makes about 4-5 pancakes or more depending on how thinly you can pour the batter)
100g plain flour
300ml light milk
A pinch of salt
For the filling (for two pancakes):
A handful of mushrooms (5-6)
A large handful of spinach
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp of double cream
A grating of Parmesan
A few basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 knobs of butter
A drizzle of oil
Salt and pepper
Begin by making the batter. Put the flour and salt into a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into a jug with the milk and beat. Pour the liquid slowly into the dried ingredients, whisking at intervals. Continue until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Leave to one side.
Chop the mushrooms and fry with butter. Add the spinach, along with the salt and pepper and some more butter, if you’re feeling lavish. Stir until the spinach is wilted, add some of the cheese. Add the cream, mustard, basil and the rest of the Parmesan. Allow to bubble slightly before turning off the heat.
Add the butter and oil to a separate pan, allowing the butter to fizz before pouring the excess fat into a jug. You can keep the clarified butter and oil mix for your next batch – it is paramount that the frying pan is not too greasy. Pour the batter into the pan in a circular motion, and flip once the pancake starts to bubble. Fry on the other side. Once both sides are cooked, spoon the spinach and mushroom cream into the pancake. Fold up the sides, sprinkle with some more cheese and serve on a warm plate.