Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so it is a moveable feast that varies from year to year and can fall anywhere between 3rd February and 9th March.
The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. During the Middle Ages, people would confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence. Because it’s the last day before Lent, people indulge themselves. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs, which needed to be used up before they went to waste.
Above are a couple of recipes from a cutting in the Cook Book that was first published in the mid 1930’s by Womans Realm. The basic recipe is one I have used quite a lot and it does just as well served simply with a sprinkling of sugar, caster or powder, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
A more modern recipe . . .
8oz plain flour, sifted
1 pint of milk
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Whisk the eggs making sure the flour is fully incorporated.
Gradually add small quantities of the milk, whisking until the batter is smooth and the consistency of thin cream.
Melt the 2oz of butter in a non-stick frying pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of the melted butter into the batter and whisk it in. Allow the mix to stand for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Using a hot, non-stick frying pan, adding 2 tbsp of the batter mixture.
As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tilt the pan until the base is evenly coated with batter.
Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife, or toss it if you’re particularly brave, to cook the other side.
Slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper.
Again, the pancakes are best served sprinkled with caster sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice.