“Two nations separated by a common language…” Whether you credit George Bernard Shaw for this witticism about England and America or my all-time favourite, Oscar Wilde, what I can tell you is that my personal travel experiences in the US of A confirm this. Here in ‘Sefarika’ we tend to go with the Queen’s English, albeit with what some call a rather alarming accent.
So when we say ‘biscuit’ we mean it like the Poms do – a dry crisp treat that you enjoy with a cuppa, not the American scone-like thing. To get a biscuit there, you would need to ask for a cookie. Ditto pancake. Our pancakes are thin, basically what the French call crepes, and we serve them with cinnamon sugar (and lemon if you’re really fancy). Order pancakes in America and you get a stack of thick doughy things drowned in maple syrup. They’re simply marvellous, but I think of them more as… well, flapjacks I guess.
Whatever you call them, everyone should have a can’t-fail recipe for crepes in their repertoire. Many of you have asked for mine, so here it is.
All you need is…
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
1¼ cups milk
1 tbs water
neutral cooking oil like canola
cinnamon sugar (this is simply a mixture of sugar and powdered cinnamon)
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the milk while whisking. Add the eggs and water and whisk. (TIP: if you whisk vigorously enough, there should be no lumps, but if lumps are a problem, simply push the batter through a sieve.)
Heat a non-stick pan and add a quarter teaspoon oil. I know it’s non-stick, but when I make this I do add some oil to the pan every third or fourth pancake. Ladle a generous spoon of the batter into the pan and swirl to ensure the pan is evenly coated. (If you find the batter is too thick at this stage, add another tablespoon or two of water to the batter.) Cook for a few seconds until golden, then flip it over to cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with cinnamon sugar and wedges of lemon.