Better known as Shrove Tuesday, this is the Tuesday just before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent and 40 days of fasting. It was observed in some countries by eating pancakes. It was a way to eat hearty and celebrate before the fasting began the next day on Ash Wednesday. I know it is still a custom in some parts of Italy.
This was a custom in our house when I grew up. We usually had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, but if we were with my Grandmother she would make crepes and we filled them with her homemade prune jelly and I seem to remember warmed cottage cheese, too.
Over the years we have kept this tradition up with our children. However, we called it Pancake Tuesday. Sometimes we had pancakes with a variety of jellies and sometimes crepes, unfortunately without the homemade prune jelly. We also included bacon or sausage. Our two youngest granddaughters think this is really special because we are having breakfast at dinner time and they look forward to it. This year I’m making pancakes and not crepes but I am also adding a surprise; A Dutch Baby Pancake. Simply the easiest, tallest and puffiest pancake ever. I think they will be amazed when they see it come out of the oven. I can’t wait to see their faces.
2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Corn Starch
½ tsp Baking Powder
2 tsps lemon zest
2 Tbs Lemon Juice – optional
3 Large Eggs
1 ½ Tbs Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled
1 ½ tsps. Vanilla
4 Tbs powdered sugar
Heat oven to 450^ and place oven rack in middle level of the oven. Brush an entire 12” skillet or heavy duty round baking dish with oil. Place the skillet or dish on the oven rack and let it heat for about 10 minutes while you combine the rest of the ingredients.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the eggs and milk, butter, vanilla and salt into your heavy duty blender. Blend until frothy. Add the dry ingredients and blend for a few minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides. Blend again for another 2 minutes. (You can do all this by hand if you want to. But why?). Carefully slide out the oven rack and pour the batter into the heated pan. Bake until the pancake is golden brown with crisp edges. About 20 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a cooling rack or cutting board. Sprinkle it with lemon juice and lots of powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Serve with jams, jellies and syrup. And tomorrow, let the fasting begin.