I have fond memories of making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday as a child. I went to a Catholic primary school, so every year on Shrove Tuesday our teachers would fire up a little electric cooktop and whip up a batch of Woolies Shake’n’Bake pancakes. Those Shake’n’Bake pancakes were pretty good (not exactly haute cuisine but tasty nonetheless), but nothing could beat a plate of my mum’s crêpes, served with lemon, sugar, and cream. My mum is a real expert at cooking crêpes: she has a proper French crêpe pan and she can flip those things like no one’s business. Sadly, this is not a skill that I have inherited, so I am reliant on my trusty old palette knife and sheer determination to get me through.
Crêpes are pretty basic, really. It’s just flour, milk, eggs, and a bit of sugar (which is optional, really). I did, however, see a rather bewildering video from 1954 of Raymond Oliver making a crêpe batter with 1/4 litre of rum and an equally significant amount of beer. Now THAT was interesting.
But crêpes alone do not a dish make. You need some accompaniments. Enter, the apricots.
Apricots are probably my favourite fruit. I love them in just about any form: dried, fresh, stewed, baked, in stews, tagines, or rice dishes. Sometimes, as was the case with this particular crop of fruit, apricots can be a little too tangy. So for this recipe, I decided to roast the apricots to soften them up and bring out their natural sugars. I sprinkled cinnamon over the fruit beforehand, but you could also roast them with some scraped vanilla beans, or even some orange flower water. Add a sprinkling of caster sugar as well for a little extra sweetness and caramelisation, and voilà, you have beautifully roasted apricots.
The best way to serve this dish is with lemon, sugar, and a generous dollop of double cream. Make sure you use raw sugar: it brings a lovely crunchy texture to the dish. Add a cup of tea or coffee and you have yourself a perfect Shrove Tuesday breakfast.
The suggested playlist for this week is anything by LANY (Someone Else and 4EVER! in particular). Clearly I’m going through a bit of a dream-pop phase at the moment. Perhaps it’s the influence of that golden, end-of-summer light that winds through the house at the end of the day, peeking through the panel of frosted glass in my front door and casting long shadows in my hallway. It’s a lazy, dreamy aesthetic that’s perfect for this kind of music – and this kind of meal, too.
Happy baking! Until next time…