This is a fabulously, fiendishly, complicated-looking dish, which will draw oohs and aahs from all your guests, friends and family, yet it is so simple to make. So, accept the applause and keep shtum. It's great fun to put together, allowing you plenty of scope to be creative with taste colour and textures.
Mine, shown here, has hot and cold ingredients and one of my favourite organic home-grown exotics, sweet potato leaves.
Step 1: What to Do
200g - 1⅔ cups - 7 oz of plain white flour
2 or 3 eggs depending on the size
500ml - 16 fl.oz or just under 1 pint of milk ( we use rice or raw)
salt and pepper to taste
Make a well in the flour and drop the eggs into it, working inwards with a fork or hand mixer to incorporate the flour and form a smooth paste. Slowly add the milk, whilst continuing to mix and thereby preventing the batter from becoming lumpy. Season to taste and leave the batter to stand. This process allows the air to escape, thus avoiding holy pancakes. If you have the time, you can leave the batter in a cool place overnight but otherwise try to set the batter aside for at least 15 minutes before using. This mixture makes from 10 to 16 pancakes, depending on the size of the pan but there are no real set rules in this dish, even six pancakes with substantial layers of filling will make an impressive cake.
Put frying pan on hot plate, melt a knob of butter in pan, coat base of pan with melted butter. Using a soup ladle pour some mixture into the frying pan, whilst using the other hand to move the batter until it thinly coats the bottom of the pan.
Leave to cook but use a spatula to lift the batter at the edges, now and again, just to see how it is progressing.
Turn the pancake over using a spatula or, if you are feeling brave, flip it over with a quick flick of the wrist.
Store the pancakes in the warming drawer, unless of course you are making a cold pancake gâteaux .
Have fun with creating your layers of the torta I like to mix hot and cold, raw and cooked. This pancake 'cake' includes a couple of layers of sweet potato leaves lightly cooked in butter with red onion. Our film on how to grow them is included above.
My extended article with potted history of the pancake and some of our local association with this delicacy can be found here
Please feel free to comment, ask questions or share this recipe, either here, on the blog or film.
All the very best from France,
Pavlovafowl aka Sue