Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fat Tuesday

In the spirit of Fat Tuesday, may I present Thomas Dawson’s 1585 recipe on how to make a good pancake.
(in fairness, this is my updating from a mediocre scan of the original book) Compliments of the British Library.

To Make Pancakes
Take of new thick cream a pint, four or five yolks of eggs, a handful of flour and two or three spoonfuls of ale and sweeten with a good handful of sugar,a spoonful of cinnamon and a little ginger: Then take a frying pan and put a little piece of butter, as long as your thumb, and when it is molten brown cast it out of your pan and with a ladle put to the further side of your pan from your stuff, and hold your pan aloft so that your stuff may run about all over all the pan as thin as may be: Then set it to the fire, and let the fire be very soft, and when one side is baked, then turn the other, and bake them as dry as you can without burning.

A few notes:
  • The sugar would be loaf sugar in this case, and you'd have to break the amount of sugar from the loaf before using it.
  • Notice the use of cinnamon and ginger. The spice trade was very advanced at this time, and cinnamon and ginger would have been available to the middle class as a regular ingredient.
  • The ingredient list makes it clear that these are more what we would consider crepes than the heavier pancake.
  • I take no responsibility for the taste of the result. Our ale and the writer's ale will be completely different, making these beer batter crepes an entirely different taste experience.

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