The secrets to these thin, lacy pancakes are a reasonably loose batter and a vigilant eye when cooking. A little butter added directly to the batter means that vegetable oil can be used for the frying without sacrificing any richness. The vegetable oil wont burn as readily as butter might, leaving you with one less thing to worry about. The most difficult part of the whole process will be deciding what to serve them with.
Makes around 12
Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, or alternatively in the microwave, then set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Id never usually bother with sifting but it really is important here for avoiding lumpy batter. Stir in the sugar and salt.
Beat together the eggs and milk until roughly combined then stir in the previously melted butter. Add around a third of this mixture to the flour, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Slowly add the remaining liquid, whisking all the while.
The batter can be set aside at this point for up to a few hours until youre ready to use it, if you want. But if youre in no mood to wait, nows the time to heat the frying pan. I use an 18cm diameter pan for these, although the exact dimensions arent make-or-break.
Heat the frying pan over a medium-high heat until hot, add just a few drops of the oil and brush over the pans surface to coat.
Turn the heat down slightly to medium then add a small amount of batter (no more than 3 tablespoons) to the pan. Swirl around so that the batter thinly coats the pan. The thickness is important: too much batter and the pancakes will cook slowly and end up rubbery; too little and theyll risk cooking to a crisp.
Cook for 30 seconds or so on each side. Each side should be patterned with light brown patches once cooked and the upper surface should be set before you decide to turn the pancake over. As for the flipping, no such theatrics are strictly necessary if youre a nervous fryer. Just shimmy a flat spatula underneath the pancake to gently turn it over.
Continue to cook the remaining batter, lightly re-greasing the pan periodically to minimise sticking.
How you serve these is completely a matter of preference, and certainly not something that Im willing to interfere in. All I will say is that I had them with blackcurrant jam and a dollop of crème fraiche, and it was nothing short of a pancake epiphany.