Finally a tepid sun is shyly knocking at our windows to start waking us up from this stormy winter. This is a season of great food and great traditions in Italy: Carnival with his Mardi Gras and Fat Thursday bring all people down the street wearing fun costumes to eat glorious fried sweet treats and party, Easter is just around the corner and summer just don’t seem that far away anymore.
This is my favorite time of the year, the season of hope when flowers are blooming, weather is getting warmer and my birthday is in just 3 days!
I love my birthday! And I just found out that the day before it, 4th March is Pancake Day.
I didn’t know Mardi Gras was celebrated outside Italy so when I realized that Pancake Tuesday was a similar celebration only with different foods I got double exited!
Italian tradition wants to cook Cenci- rags (which are also called Chiacchere- chatter) and how to forget about Frati- monks- our own donuts and now I can also add pancakes to this gorgeous list?!
Forget what I wrote before, this is the reason why I love this season!
Both Italian and Irish custom of cooking fat, fried food are associated with this peculiar day because of a religious belief. Shove Tuesday was, in fact, the last chance to eat fat foods before the 40 days of Lent during which they were forbidden. Nowadays things have changed, in Italy, fat foods are not forbidden anymore but once a week, usually on Friday, religious people avoid eating meat.
Irish pancakes are very different from the well known american ones and they actually are more similar to French crepes.
This thin, flat cakes are cooked in a buttery greased pan and then sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and caster sugar, then rolled and eaten warm.
In the picture, my own Irish Pancakes
Irish Pancakes Recipe
½ cup of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs
½ and 1 tablespoon of milk
2 tablespoon of butter, melted (plus more for frying if you don’t have a non stick pan)
the juice of 1 fresh lemon
Caste sugar for serving
Serving 10 small pancakes
1# Add flour, salt and eggs and milk to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk all together until well blended and without lumps.
2#Meanwhile melt the butter and then add it to the mixture, whisking again well.
3# Warm a small pan on medium eat and grease the inside with butter.
4# Pour about ¼ of mixture on the warm pan and move it slowly to spread it all around in order to create a thin, round layer.
5# Once the upper layers looks dry and the underside starts to stick out, flip the pancake ( using a spatula or if you’re good enough without) and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
6# Spread some lemon juice and some sugar on the inside, roll it and serve.
Fat Fact: Of course, it will take you a little time to cook every pancakes so in order to serve them all warm, put the ready ones on plate and cover with aluminum foil and place in the warm (but not hot) oven.