The hidden secret? JAM.
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Pancake Day was a day of the year that I’d look forward to from 1st January as a child. It was big news in our household as we didn’t have crêpes on any other day of the year. My Mum made up for it on the big day though with an ‘all you can eat’ type spread where pancakes were rustled up until my sister and I were full to the brim. We always verged on the tipping point of *almost* eating a double digit amount of pancakes. It was a brilliant day. It’s a day that I still look forward to as an adult, because all these years later I still have crêpes on the brain. Who doesn’t? Sweet or savoury. Thin or fluffy. Classic filling or off-piste. The possibilities are endless, but always delicious.
Speaking of fillings, for this Pancake Day the makers of the best darn jam in the business, Bonne Maman, have our backs. Not only is their website crammed with recipe inspiration, but their jam and spreads make for the perfect pancake accompaniment; with their high quality all-natural ingredients. A layer of their Strawberry Conserve in a crêpe? Nice. A drizzle of their Salted Caramel Spread over a pancake? Absolute heaven (although I have taken to eating this directly from the gingham-topped jar). Want something fancier? Well have a look at the recipe below and add it to your repertoire immediately because it will take your Pancake Day celebrations to the next level. Promise. It’s too good to eat just once a year…
ALMOND CRÊPES WITH PLUMS IN THYME AND BLACKCURRANT SYRUP (serves four): The fanciest pancake recipe that I’ve attempted that turned out so good that I should have given myself a mini round of applause. Sweet and creamy with a complex taste thanks to the thyme, make this four person recipe for two people and thank me later.
For the plums in syrup: 6 tbsp Bonne Maman Blackcurrant Conserve, juice of 1 orange, 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar, 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (tied in a muslin), 150ml red wine, 250g small plums (halved and stoned).
For the crêpes: 50g butter (melted, plus extra for cooking), 100g plain flour, 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp caster sugar, 150g toasted flaked almonds.
For the filling: 200ml mascarpone cheese, 150ml double cream, 1 tsp orange zest, icing sugar (for dusting).
Make your plums in syrup first, by adding all the ingredients to a small pan on a medium-low heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the plums are just tender. Next prep your creamy filling, by stirring together the mascarpone and double cream, then grating some orange zest into the mix – set aside until you’re ready to assemble your masterpiece. Now it’s time to make your crêpes by whisking together the ingredients in a bowl, and adding 50ml of cold water – it’s the secret!
Heat a 18-20cm crêpe pan and brush it lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle some of the toasted almonds onto the pan and pour a ladle of the mixture over the top; tilting the pan so that the batter spreads evenly across the surface. Cook for one minute until the underside is golden, then flip and cook for a minute on the other side. Remove it from the pan when it’s cooked and repeat until you have used up all the batter. To serve, spread the creamy mixture all over your crepe, roll, then drizzle some of the plums in syrup over the top. Finish it off with any leftover toasted almonds you have, icing sugar and orange zest. ENJOY!
Photos by Emma Croman
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