Pancake Tuesday. Finally.

It's here. Pancake Tuesday. Only Christmas can garner more excitement from me than this day. When we were young, we started asking my mum and dad in February, "Is it Pancake Tuesday yet?" The reason: my mum's special crêpes. With my English Dad and my Spanish Mum, Pancake Tuesday became a hybrid holiday. The English tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, with my Mum's Galician Filloas.  Filloas are basically a crêpe, but an eggy crêpe, that is strong an delicate at the same time. Stacked in lacy layers, we sprinkled them with sugar, rolled them up and ate them until we could eat no more.

Filloas (Galician Crêpes) © 2014 Helena McMurdo

When we visited my grandma in Spain, we were impressed by her prowess with these crêpes. We wondered how she knew how to make these? Had my mum taught her? We watched as she greased the pan with an end of bacon, the grease clinging to the hot surface, and then ladled the perfect amount of batter into the pan and swirled it round coating the pan with the perfect crêpe. But here is where her technique diverged from that of my mum's. With the first side cooked, she would flip the crêpe out on the top of her flat top wood fired stove for the second side to cook. Naturally this allowed her to make them very quickly and for us to eat more! We also discovered that she didn't only make these on Pancake Tuesday, but would make them any time we asked. 

Filloas (Galician Crêpes) Mise en Place © 2014 Helena McMurdo
Batter for Filloas (Galician Crêpes) © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg
Cooking Filloas (Galician Crêpes) © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg
A Spoonful of Sugar © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg

I still love these like I did when I was a kid that is to say with sprinkled with sugar, rolled up and gobbled down but now that I'm a grown-up I am willing to try a squeeze of lemon as well and eat it with a knife and fork occasionally.

Stack of Filloas (Galician Crêpes) © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg
Filloas (Galician Crêpes), Detail © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg
Stack of Filloas (Galician Crêpes) with Lemon © 2014 Helena McMurdo.jpg

Filloas (Galician Crêpes)

6 eggs

500 ml milk

250 ml water

lemon zest

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

250 grams flour

Beat the eggs and then add the other ingredients, mixing together until smooth. You can do this with a whisk or with a blender if you wish. 

Heat a cast iron or other non-stick pan and brush lightly with butter. (Unless you do happen to have an end of pancetta or bacon fat hanging around). Add just enough batter so that when you swirl it round in the hot pan it just covers the entire surface.  After approximately one minute, you should see that the surface of the crêpe will dry up and little bubbles will form. The edges of the crepe will also pull away from the sides of the pan. Time to flip! Be fearless and  insert a small off-set spatula underneath the crêpe and flip it quickly to cook the other side. Continue in this manner until you have a lovely stack. If you are eating them as you go, this will never happen. You can make these in advance and freeze them or stick them in the fridge and eat them the next day.  I am perfectly happy to eat them at room temperature but they can be easily warmed by flipping them quickly on a hot pan.

Garnish as you see fit. But please at least try them with nothing more than a  sprinkling of sugar.