This week's stack of of your crepe creations should enliven frying pans this shrove Tuesday...
After wading through this week's stack of submissions, it's become clear that the days of Jif lemon (or Ribena in my case, weirdly) and a little caster sugar on a soggy pancake are long gone. It was a hugely varied bunch, so in my choices I've aimed to reflect that, along with the original intention of Shrove Tuesday - chucking all the good stuff into a pan for one last indulgence.
Galina Varese's savoury Russian pancake pies were simple but utterly satisfying, especially with the recommended soured cream, and much lighter than they sound; a lovely dinner when served with winter greens. ElleZumbido's cheese, thyme and pecan pancakes, on the other hand, were, I quote, "a total dairy feast". I suspect they intended to serve four, but could easily be eaten by a greedy two on pancake day. MarmadukeScarlet's Malaysian pancakes with salty peanuts, creamy desiccated coconut and sweet creamed corn fell somewhere in between the two - highly recommended as something a little different for breakfast or brunch.
I received a lovely letter from Vera James, with a recipe for pancakes passed to her by a US-born ex-serviceman. With a dollop of whipped cream and a generous drizzle of maple syrup, they were American as apple pie, only more delicious. Thank you, Vera.
Winner this week though was Eat_Your_Veg, with one of the fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten, along with a tart-but-sweet seasonal compote. It's the kind of pancake that puts a smile on your face, whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The winning recipe: Fluffy wholemeal and yoghurt pancakes with a rhubarb and ginger compote
A great brunch option, these pancakes are made with half wholemeal flour, lots of lovely Greek yoghurt and use honey as a sweetener. Serve with rhubarb, blood orange and stem ginger compote and a spoon of honeyed Greek yoghurt.
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g plain yoghurt, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp runny honey, plus extra to serve
2 large eggs
Butter for frying
For the compote
450g rhubarb, sliced into 4-5cm lengths
Juice of 1 blood orange
50g light soft brown sugar
1 tbsp stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp syrup from the stem ginger jar
1 First, make the compote. Put the sliced rhubarb, orange juice, sugar, ginger and syrup in a medium saucepan. Put on a gentle heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring now and then, until it is very tender and just about holding some shape.
2 Next, make the pancake batter. Mix together the flours with the baking powder and bicarb in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl lightly whisk together the yoghurt, honey, milk and eggs, then whisk it into the flour mix.
3 Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan on a gentle heat, and when it's hot, smear a tiny bit of butter in part of the pan, spread to roughly 10cm in width.
4 Dollop a tbsp of the pancake batter where you've melted the butter and gently spread out with the back of a spoon. In a large frying pan you should be able to cook 3 to 4 at a time.When bubbles start to appear on the surface, carefully flip over to the other side and cook until fluffed up and firm. Repeat until all the pancake mixture is used. Keep warm in a low oven if necessary.
5 Mix the extra Greek yoghurt with a little of the runny honey to taste, then serve the pancakes with a dollop each of the honey, yoghurt and compote.
Many years ago I met an American ex-serviceman who told me the recipe for American pancakes. My husband has made these many times; they are delicious and foolproof. They turn out fluffy and wickedly moreish!
Vera James, Boxford, Suffolk
140g plain flour, sifted
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Whipped cream, to serve
Maple syrup, to serve
1 Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix together the egg, milk and oil. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, then stir, but just until moistened - the batter should remain lumpy.
2 Heat a griddle or frying pan - if a drop of water dances on it, it's hot enough. Spoon 1 tbsp of the batter on to the pan and cook until bubbles appear, then flip over. Serve with the whipped cream and maple syrup.
Cheese, thyme and pecan pancakes
These pancakes are not for the faint-hearted: they are a dairy feast with a spicy, peppery punch. The intense flavours of three melted cheeses are set off by the earthy thyme, crunchy pecans and sweet honey. Best served hot and oozing straight from the pan.
For the batter
55g white spelt flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
100ml whole milk
1 tbsp butter, for frying
For the topping
60g mature cheddar, finely grated
160g camembert, cubed
30g creme de Saint Agur, or another soft blue cheese
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
20g pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
Black pepper, to taste
4 tsp honey
1 To make the batter, mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg into the well and gradually add the milk, whisking together until you have a smooth batter. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
2 Meanwhile have all your toppings ready to put on the pancake while each one cooks. For each pancake, melt a knob of butter in the frying pan on a medium-high heat. Pour in one ladle of the batter and swirl it around to cover the base of the pan, making an even circle. Immediately sprinkle 40g of the camembert, then 15g of the cheddar on top. Allow them to melt into the pancake.
3 Once the underside of the pancake is golden brown, spoon over 1/2 tbsp of the blue cheese - if you want the cheese to brown, too, put the pan under a hot grill for about 2 mins - then sprinkle with the thyme and a quarter of the pecans. Season liberally with black pepper and drizzle over 1 tsp of honey. Eat immediately. Repeat for the three remaining pancakes.
Malaysian turnover pancakes
Apam balik are one of my favourite Malaysian street foods. I never knew how my disapproving mother found out that my father and I had been sneaking out of the house for one of my favourite childhood treats - turnover pancakes. I suspect it was the grease stains, a trail of crumbs and a cloud of powdered sugar that wafted home with us, combined with our unrepentant laughter. I loved to watch the hawkers cooking as many as 10 pancakes at a time, as they swirled and tipped the specially designed pans over hot charcoal braziers.
200g plain flour
50g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the filling
200g unsalted, roasted peanuts
1 tin of creamed sweetcorn
Desiccated coconut (optional)
1 First, make the pancake batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl before adding the egg and water. Whisk to a smooth batter, then set aside for about 1 hour to rest.
2 Meanwhile, prepare the peanuts for the filling. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then lightly toast the peanuts. Set aside to cool. Once the nuts are cool, whizz them in a food processor. They should be chunky rather than finely ground.
3 Heat a large well-seasoned (or nonstick) frying pan on a low-medium heat. Add a little oil. When it's hot, wipe it away with a paper towel; you want a mere hint of oil coating the surface. Ladle in the batter. Swirl the pan so that the batter covers the entire surface. Cook for 2 minutes, until small bubbles begin to form.
4 Dollop 3 tsp of creamed sweetcorn over the surface (not too close to the edge). Add a sprinkling of coconut, a handful of chopped peanuts and a few dabs of butter.
5 Put a lid (or plate) over the pan and cook for 1 minute to ensure the pancake is cooked through. The pancake should be crisp on the bottom and only very slightly soft on top. Fold the pancake into a half-moon shape and serve immediately.
Every Sunday is Pancake Day in our house. Pancakes are a staple breakfast food at weekends in Russia, and there is a huge variety of recipes. Pancake pies, or blinchatye pirozhki, are a lovely dish which bring back memories of my school and university days. Her mum and grandma were wonderful cooks who used to make these most delicious stuffed pancakes.
Galina Varese, Witney
For the pancakes
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
100g self-raising flour
25g butter, melted, plus more for frying
A pinch of salt
For the filling
200g lean beef mince
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and black pepper
100g cooked rice (50g uncooked weight)
Soured cream or Greek yoghurt, to serve
1 First make the batter. Mix the eggs with the milk and yoghurt, then add the flour, melted butter and salt. If the batter seems too thick, add a splash of water.
2 Add a little butter to a large frying pan. When hot, add 2 tbsp batter, cooking until golden underneath. Flip over and cook for another minute or two. Repeat to make 8 pancakes, then set aside while you make the filling.
3 In a separate frying pan, heat a little oil then fry the mince with the red onion and mixed herbs until the meat is cooked (around 5-10 minutes). Season well with salt and pepper, then allow to cool. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
4 Stuff each pancake with about 2 tbsp filling, then fold in the bottom, sides and top like an envelope.
5 Add 1 tsp of butter to the frying pan and fry the folded pancakes on both sides until crisp and golden.
6 Serve hot with the soured cream or Greek yoghurt, and be generous with it, as the acidity of the soured cream complements the flavours and textures of this dish beautifully.
A great brunch option ... fluffy wholemeal and yoghurt pancakes with a rhubarb and ginger compote. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian