For god-fearing, religiously observant Christian folk of yore, Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up rich food items such as eggs, milk & sugar before the season of Lent; a period of fasting and abstinence in the lead up to Easter.
Nowadays, as with a lot of old, religious traditions, Shrove Tuesday has been co-opted, relabeled and made more accessible by the ever-growing secular and religiously diverse portion of our society. As with Easter, Halloween & Christmas, Shrove Tuesday has shifted away from its old traditions; becoming a day of celebrating and eating pancakes. A day in current times more commonly referred to as Pancake Day.
Following is a recipe for Blueberry Pancakes, an adaptation of a Gordon Ramsay recipe, as well as a dark salted caramel butterscotch sauce. A fantastic way to celebrate this day of pancakes.
Blueberry Pancakes with Dark Salted Caramel Butterscotch Sauce
(Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Scotch Pancakes)
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp castor sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
100ml cold water
4 large eggs, beaten
a punnet of blueberries or equivalent quality of frozen blueberries (defrosted)
Butter or oil for frying
- Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar & salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the buttermilk, water & eggs in a separate container.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Allow pancake batter to rest for 10 mins.
- Heat up a frying pan to medium-low heat and add just enough butter or oil to just coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add a small ladle of batter to the pan and drop in a few blueberries on top of the batter.
- Cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface of the batter, then flip over to cook onto the other side.
Dark Salted Caramel Butterscotch Sauce
(Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Butterscotch Sauce from The Cook’s Companion)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup of boiling water
50g unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
a few drops of vanilla
salt to taste
- Dissolve sugar in a medium sized saucepan over low heat until it turns dark being careful not to burn the sugar.
- Ensure that the boiling water is readied by the time the sugar turns golden brown for the next step.
- Once small wisps of smoke appear from the caramel, remove immediately from the heat and carefully pour in the boiling water.
- Stir the mixture until its smooth.
- Bring the saucepan back to the heat and add the butter and brown sugar.
- Once again, stir mixture until smooth & all the brown sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the cream and drops of vanilla until incorporated.
- Add salt to taste.
- See note below.
- Serve either whilst warm or allow to cool and place into a container and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Regarding the amount of salt to use, this will vary depending on how dark the caramel is, as the salt not only works as a flavour enhancer but also mutes the bitter notes of the dark caramel.
In my instance I found that 1 1/2 tsp of Maldon salt flakes was required to sufficiently mute the bitter notes. If you’re using regular table salt, naturally a lot less will be required.
My advice would be to work in 1/4 tsp increments or pinches of salt until you’re satisfied with the final results.