Pancakes are the original use-it-up food. The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday comes from the need to use up all the luxurious, high-fat foods like butter and eggs before fasting began for Lent.

These days, the excitement surrounding Pancake Tuesday means food often ends up going to waste. Whether you’re a crêpe connoisseur or a fat pancake fan, we’ve put together some tips to help you enjoy your pancakes without the waste this Tuesday!

1.     Portion, portion, portion

If you don’t want to end up with extra batter, it’s important to correctly portion how much you make. Pancake batter recipes typically allow 25-30 g of flour per person. That’s two medium pancakes each.

2.     Start small

Realistically, the first pancake (or three) of the batch are usually not the most successful. A rusty flipping arm or over-excited chef means they often end up….

Keep the first few pancakes small while you warm up, just in case!

3.     Resist the urge to flip

The most common reason for pancakes coming to an untimely end is an over-eager flipper. A pancake needs at least 30 seconds on medium heat before it should be moved. Resist the urge to flip. If you must, give it a small peek until you are sure it’s the right time.

4.     Toppings

Don’t go mad with perishable toppings or ingredients you won’t use again. Whether you like sweet or savoury, you probably have plenty of options already in the cupboard.

5.     Use leftover ingredients – just like the good ole days

Embrace the tradition of Pancake Tuesday and take the chance to use up food that might otherwise go to waste. Any overly ripe bananas or leftover yoghurt? Check out this recipe for delicious American style pancakes. Slightly sour milk is the perfect substitute if your recipe calls for butter milk. Just remember: if it has started to separate, it’s too late.

6.     Re-use tomorrow

Left-over pancake batter should hold for up to 24 hours in the fridge. If you made too much, here are a few alternative ideas for tomorrow:

  • Pancake batter can be repurposed to make muffins by adding oil, sugar, baking powder and some extra flour to thicken. Try including any left-over toppings for a fun baking experiment. Combine some lemon and sugar for to drizzle on top or cut the tops off and add a teaspoon of chocolate spread to the centre.
  • Make potato pancakes (or Kartoffelpuffer) by thickening the last of your batter with flour and maybe an egg and adding grated potato and onion (3:1) until you have a mixture the consistence of coleslaw. Season with salt, pepper and garlic and fry in burger-sized cakes.
  • If you have left-over pancakes, already cooked, roll them with your favourite savouries (we love ham, cheese and spinach or mushrooms) and line them up in a greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle some cheese on top and bake in the oven at medium heat.

7.     Freeze

If you think you’ll still be full tomorrow, the freezer is always an option. Freeze leftover batter in a zip-lock bag or airtight container. Pancakes will freeze well with a layer of greaseproof paper between them (to prevent them sticking). Once frozen they can be stored together. Reheat them in the microwave or oven or if they’re small American-style cakes, in the toaster!

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