Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

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I love chatting with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart radio, every Thursday morning. It was Matt’s idea to talk about Shrove Tuesday – the history behind it and why pancakes should be on the menu. Here’s some fun information I found online.

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, England’s Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9. In 2019 Shrove Tuesday will fall on March 5.

Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolize four points of significance at this time of year:

Eggs ~ Creation

Flour ~ The staff of life

Salt ~ Wholesomeness

Milk ~ Purity



  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine, melted or 1 teaspoon Canola oil


Whisk dry ingredients together. Whisk egg and buttermilk until blended. Stir dry ingredients into into egg mixture and blend well. Stir in butter. Blend again. Let sit a few minutes before frying on hot greased griddle.  Pancakes are ready to turn over when golden brown on the bottom and bubbles appear around the top edges and in the middle.

Serve with maple pecan butter

Whip together 2 sticks softened butter with 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 cup maple syrup.

Dutch baby/puff pancake
This puffs up in the oven and when you take it out, the center collapses, making a nice well for toppings.

Having eggs at room temperature allows for a faster rise in the oven.

1/2 stick salted butter, cut up
3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten lightly
1/2 cup milk, warmed up just a bit
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar for sweet pancake; leave out for savory pancake
1 teaspoon vanilla for sweet pancake; leave out for savory pancake
Preheat oven to 425. 
Melt butter in 10 inch ovenproof omelet pan, saute pan or skillet over low heat, brushing butter up sides of pan. Don’t let it brown.
Meanwhile, whisk in milk, flour, sugar and vanilla (if using) to beaten eggs. 
Whisk well until smooth. Or mix in blender.
Remove skillet from heat. 
Pour egg mixture into skillet on top of butter. Place in oven and bake until pancake puffs up over the sides and is golden. It might also puff a bit in the middle. Takes about 15-20 minutes. 
Important: Use potholder when removing skillet from oven — handle will be hot. Leave potholder on until handle cools.
Leave pancake in pan, or slide out. Leave whole and add toppings, or cut into serving pieces and add toppings. 
Tips: no omelet or saute pan?
Pie or cake pans can be used in place of a skillet.
Unsalted butter for salted?
Sure you can. Just add a couple pinches of salt to the egg mixture.
Top it!
Sweet toppings:
Powdered sugar.
Jelly/jam/preserves in center and dust with powdered sugar.
Berries dusted with powdered sugar.
Warm maple syrup.
Savory toppings:
Scrambled eggs and cooked crumbled sausage, ham or bacon.
Measure pan correctly
Measure top inside edges. The outside edge may be larger than the inside, depending upon the kind of skillet.

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