Cooking, entertaining, radio, Recipes

When Valentines and Pancakes collide

This year Shrove Tuesday is only two days after Valentine’s Day so when the lovely Sinead in Midlands 103 asked would I do some romantic dishes I thought what better than to combine the two in a delicious heart shaped pancake stack ❤

Lemon & blueberry pancake stack aerial view

To make this plate of deliciousness you need lemon curd and it’s so easy to make, trust me.
I use Darina’s recipe and it hasn’t let me down since I first made it in Ballymaloe

Lemon Curd

What you need:

  • 50g butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten together

What you do:

  • In a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, melt the butter and add the sugar, lemon zest and juice.
  • Whisk in the eggs and continue to whisk until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  • Take off heat and allow to cool – it will thicken further.
  • You can keep any leftover curd in the fridge for a week though I doubt if it will last that long 😊

Now you can start to make your pancakes – these are American style and are thicker than our traditional pancakes. Try and make them heart shaped if you can – I used a mould that I bought in Dunnes Stores last year – it was designed for frying eggs but if you know me you’ll know that that’s never going to happen in my kitchen!

Blueberry Pancakes

What you need:

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 1 pink lady apple, grated
  • 100g bluberries and extra for serving …
  • butter or oil for frying

What you do:

  • Mix the flour, bread soda and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then gradually whisk in the eggs and the buttermilk.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, stir in the grated apples and the blueberries
  • Melt a little butter in a non-stick pan or wipe with sunflower oil.
  • When hot, add small ladles of batter to the pan to make small pancakes (use a mould if you have one)   Cook for 2-3 mins until bubbles appear and the bottoms are set. Flip and cook for a few mins more. 
  • Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.

To assemble the stack, start with a pancake, cover it with lemon curd and repeat !
Serve with lots of fresh blueberries

pancake stack side view

Don’t forget it’s a sharing stack….

cut pancakes

Happy Cooking!

Yvonne xx

If you’d like to join the weekly Hey Pesto! cookalong or attend one of my online cookery classes then please click here  for details. 

📷Special thanks to Jeff Harvey for the great food photography

Cookbooks, Cooking, family meals, Food, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegetarian

A fritter type of pancake…

Sometimes you just need time out and this weekend was one of those times. I love being busy – both workwise and socially but things have been pretty hectic for the last two months.

I had an early night on Friday and spent a very pleasant few hours Saturday morning reading Mary Berry’s autobiography before tackling some long overdue housekeeping. The pantry had taken on a life of its own and needed to be brought back under control. Now everything is neatly grouped and visible ……for a while anyway. The tupperware is organised and the kitchen presses are organised.

Now if only I could persuade someone to do the ironing 😉

After all that hard work I had to recover on the couch with some TV and cookbooks. My book of choicewas a lovely one I brought back from Canada,  ‘The Ontario Table’ and one of the recipes that I wanted to try was for Corn Fritters

The Ontario Table

By coincidence when I was flicking through the channels I came across The Two Fat Ladies cooking corn fritters. A sign definitely …

So combining the two recipes I made the following for Sunday Brunch:

Corn Fritter

Corn Fritters (or are they pancakes?)

What you need:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Irish Atlantic Chilli & Paprika salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml milk
  • fresh corn kernels from 2 cobs of corn
  • Bunch spring onions chopped

What you do:

  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Whisk eggs and milk together in a jug.
  • Make a hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mix
  • Fold in to make a creamy batter then add in the corn and the spring onions.
  • Drop 2-3 tbsp. onto griddle pan, allow to ‘bubble’, then turn over to cook other side.

I served the fritters with crispy Pigs on the Green bacon and my latest food addiction – Golden Beetroot Relish from In Season Farm which I found in the lovely Hereford & More shop

Technically fritters should be fried in oil but I opted for the griddle method of cooking which makes them more of a savoury pancake and therefore an option for Shrove Tuesday don’t you think?

Happy Cooking !

And even though I may have gotten a little bored last night (as predicted by the CT!), my batteries are now fully recharged and ready for the week ahead 🙂

Cookbooks, Cooking, Food, Recipes

Pancakes – How do you like yours?

I’m sure that like me you’ll remember learning in school that the Catholic Church forbade the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy produce during Lent so on Shrove Tuesday all these ‘luxuries’ had to be eaten and thus the pancake was invented!

Did you also have a box in which to save all the sweets you couldn’t eat during Lent? Remember the excitement of the dispensation for St Patrick’s Day? Our poor parents – imagine the sugar high we must all have been on once Easter Sunday came around!

But did you know that apparently there was a link between Shrove Tuesday and the romantic fortunes of the unmarried. “Traditionally in Ireland, marriage was forbidden to take place during Lent, so in the weeks before Christmas and “Shrovetide,” as it’s sometimes called, matchmakers busily tried to find suitable candidates for marriage before Ash Wednesday arrived. Households left with unmarried daughters on Shrove Tuesday tried to imbue them with better luck for the coming year by allowing them to toss the first cake. Their pancake-making skills, for better or worse, were seen as an indication of their romantic chances for the next year.”

Pass me that frying pan quickly!

My recipe for pancakes comes from the Children’s Section of my Mum’s old Good Housekeeping Cookbook – I used to love looking through this and trying out recipes when I could!  

There are still little bookmarks in the book for recipes I wanted to try – I never did get to make lollipops, glucose and lollipop sticks were far too exotic back then!


The one recipe I do remember using (and still use) is the one for pancakes. I use the imperial measurements for this but have brought it up to date with the metric equivalents!

What you need:

  • 4oz (125g ) flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ pint (300ml) milk

What you do:

  • Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a hollow in the middle of the flour, and break the egg into this. Gently work in the flour, gradually adding the milk to give a smooth creamy batter.
  • Now for the important bit – cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the batter to rest for at least an hour. I always got impatient at this point!
  • When cooking Good Housekeeping calls for lard or vegetable shortening – I use butter – the real stuff please! I saw somebody on TV  claiming that the secret to cooking pancakes is to use clarified butter – put butter in a bowl in a warm oven and use the clear liquid from the top – I must give it a try and see if it works!
  • Put a little butter into warm pan then pour in some batter (a few tablespoons). Tilt your pan to spread the batter evenly. When batter has set and is brown on one side use a palette knife to turn it and cook on other side – or if you’re feeling brave toss it!

This recipe should yield 10-12 thin pancakes using an 8” /20 cm frying pan. If you want to cook them in advance stack the pancakes with a piece of parchment paper between each of them. But they’re best hot from the pan!

When it comes to fillings it’s hard to beat the traditional  lemon juice and caster sugar, but nutella comes a close second in my book! What’s your favourite?

Don’t forget you can do savoury fillings as well as sweet – sautéed mushrooms, stir fry veg., creamy chicken…..Just let your imagination take over.  I remember one pancake party where my friend Siobhan served pancakes with a variety of stuffings including one with beansprouts – one of the guests was later heard to say he wasn’t mad about the ones with the straw in them!

Just remember the first pancake is always a disaster- best hide it so it doesn’t adversely affect your romantic prospects!!!! 😉

Happy Cooking!