Happy Pancake Day! Aaah, how brilliant is this country when there is actually a day, and official day, that celebrates pancakes! Amazing! Okay, okay, so I know today is officially Shrove Tuesday, but we can surely still get a bit excited about the brilliance that is sweet or savoury pancakes!
Now, I am not sure which camp you are in, but I love both sweet and savoury pancakes…although I have to admit, I am a bit more partial to sweet pancakes (curse my sweet tooth!).
But, I am pretty sure I have blabbed on enough about how much I love sweet pancakes, so I have decided to share with you all a great, indulgent savoury pancake recipe for the big day. You can actually fill these pancakes with whatever you like, but my favourite hands down is quite simple – ham and wilted spinach. Simples! You just can’t go wrong. I hope you give this recipe a go, and above all else, enjoy!
Indulgent Ham, Spinach and Cheese Pancakes
500 mls whole milk
½ whole onion
1 bay leaf
50 grams butter
45 grams plain flour
12 slices of ham
1.5 kilos spinach, wilted (optional)
200 grams grated mature cheddar or gruyere (or a mixture of the two)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pancakes / Crepes
Makes 12 pancakes
110 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
2 medium eggs
50 grams butter
1. Start by making the Bechamel Sauce – warm the milk on a low-medium heat, add the onion and bay leaf. Remove from the heat and set aside
2. In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the flour slowly. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
3. Remove the onion and bay leaf from the warmed milk and gradually add the milk to the butter/flour mixture.
4. Stir this mixture slowly, until a thick sauce has formed. Add ¾ of the cheese to the sauce. Set aside.
5. For the pancakes – sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle, crack in the eggs and add the milk. Give this all a vigorous stir, until it’s a smooth batter.
6. Melt the 50gram of butter in a small-medium frying pan and add about half of this butter to the batter.
7. Over medium heat, warm the frying pan and add enough batter to thinly cover the frying pan. When bubbles start to appear all over the pancake, this is the best time to flip it. Cook the pancake for a further 1-2 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. Continue with the rest of the batter. If you don’t want to use up all your batter, it will keep in the fridge, covered, for 2 days.
Time to assemble the pancakes….
Grab a pancake and line with ham and the wilted spinach (optional). Roll the pancake up to enclose the mixture. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, until your ovenproof dish is full and snug. Spoon the béchamel sauce over the crepes, sprinkle over the remaining cheese, and bake for 15 minutes at 180C until the top is golden and bubbling. Enjoy!