Tomorrow is “Pancake Day” here in the UK, also known as Shrove Tuesday it is the last day before the beginning of Lent, when traditionally people had a last feast before Lent ushered in. It was a good and delicious way to use up the last of the eggs and fat before the fasting began. When I was a child it was the only day of the year my mother would make pancakes. And she didn’t always make them on Pancake Day either, unless we begged her and “guilted” her into it! Each year I try to make a different type of pancake and this year is no different. I present Banoffee Pancakes for your perusal!!
Based on the much beloved Banoffee Pie, these tasty pancakes incorporate the flavours of toffee, bananas, and cream . . . I have added candied pecans as well.
They only look complicated. Trust me, they are not. I am lazy if nothing else and I usually try to find the quickest way to get things done.
I promise you if you have some of the elements of these done ahead of time, the actually dish goes together lickey split! You can do the candied pecans ahead of time. (They literally only take a few minutes to make.)
You can also do the toffee sauce ahead of time, warming it up when you need it. It’s a fabulous sauce. You may want to do double it so that you have plenty for your family to indulge in.
You can even make the pancakes themselves ahead of time. These are the crepe type of British Pancakes, not the North American fluffy or Scotch type of pancakes. Just make them and stack between sheets of cling film, of baking paper and pop into a baggie and store in the refrigerator and reheat on the day. You can reheat them very easily, but popping them into a single layer on a baking sheet and warming them for literally minutes in a moderate oven. Easy peasy.
All you have to actually do on the day is to warm everything up, cook the bananas, and then assemble everything together on the plates. Your family is really going to love these! And so are you, if only for the ease!
This looks a lot more complicated than it is. If you have some of the elements done ahead of time, like the caramel sauce and candied nuts, the whole things goes together very quickly when it comes to the time you want to cook them. Of course you could make it really simple and buy ready made pancakes and caramel sauce, but I prefer the flavours of homemade. You may want to double the sauce, depending on how much your family enjoyed caramel.
For the pancakes:
110g flour (3/4 cup)
pinch fine sea salt
2 large free range eggs
200ml semi-skimmed milk (7 fluid ounces)
75ml water (2 1/2 fluid ounces)
50g butter (2 1/2 TBS)
For the Candied Pecan Nuts:
1 1/2 TBS packed soft light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp water
few drops vanilla
120g shelled pecan nuts (1 cup)
For the caramel sauce:
150g of soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
225ml of double cream (1 cup)
3 TBS butter
125ml of golden syrup (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch sea salt
For the Bananas:
75g caster sugar (6 1/2 TBS)
3 large bananas, just under-ripe, sliced thickly on the diagonal
To make the candied pecans. Line a baking sheet with some baking paper, Set aside. Whisk together the brown sugar, water and vanilla in a small bowl along with a pinch salt. Add the pecans to a medium skillet and heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to toast the nuts. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. It will only take two to three minutes. They will smell really nutty. Add the sugar mixture to the an, and quickly stir it into the nuts, stirring constantly to coat the nuts with the mixture. Remove from heat right away. This should not take any longer than 15 to 20 seconds. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and set aside to cool. They should be nicely coated and not really stuck together, but break them apart if they are.
For the caramel sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly, then reduce to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thick and glossy. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the pancakes, sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl, sifting it several times and from a height to aerate the flour. Make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and begin whisking them in, incorporating some of the flour from around the edges each time you run the whisk around. Whisk together the milk and water. Start whisking this into the egg/flour mixture a bit at a time until you have a smooth batter with the consistency of cream.
Melt the butter. Whisk 2 TBS of it into the batter. Reserve the rest for buttering the pan as you cook the pancakes. Have ready a plate set over a pan of simmering water.Heat a pancake/non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Brush with butter. Pour in 2 TBS of the pancake batter and tip the pan from side to side to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. You can fill any holes in with more batter if need be. Cook until golden on the underside. This should take no longer than a minute or so. Carefully flip over using a spatula or palate knife. The other side should take literally only about 15 to 20 seconds to cook. Place onto the plate you are keeping warm over the simmering water, which you repeat until all the pancakes have been cooked.
To do the bananas, spread the sugar in an even layer in a large skillet. Cook over low heat until the sugar begins to melt. Add the bananas, flat side down and turn the heat up under the pan to quicken the melting of the sugar. Once the sugar is the colour of a brick, carefully flip the bananas over and cook until they have caramelized on that side. Don’t move them around too much or they will fall apart.
To serve place the pancakes on a plate. Cover half of each with some of the caramel and bananas, fold the other half of the pancake over top. Drizzle with some more caramel and top with some whipped cream and some pecan nuts. Serve immediately.
I really hope you will give these a go! They are fabulous! I learned this year the reason why pancake day is on a different day most years. The day it falls on is determined by the day Easter Sunday falls on, and is always 47 days before. You learn something new every day! Bon Appetit and Happy Pancake Day!
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