Lesley Shatwell writes:
I am sad that this year we won’t be able to enjoy “Pancakes and Temptation” at St Mark’s and a bit nervous that we might just have to make do with the temptation and a lot of wistful thinking. This reminded me that I have never tried the recipes which my great-grandmother Mary Louise had written out into her cookery book.
Mary Louise (pictured above) was the daughter of a vet and she married a man who had inherited a few smallholdings in East Devon. They rented a large house on the banks of the River Exe at Lympstone, which was the childhood home of my Grannie. I am not sure whether Mary Louise would have made these pancakes herself, because according to the 1911 census, they had two general servants living with them.
The cookery book must have been started in the 1890s/1900s with the lavish food available at the time, but towards the end of the book there are recipes suggesting “How to eke out butter” using cornflour and milk. The book ends in 1919. The pancake recipes are from a far more extravagant time. And just in case all the pancakes prove too much, I include Mr Broom’s recipe for Indigestion Powders – but please, please, please don’t try that one at home as I do not want to be held responsible for you trying to obtain the required morphine.
Peel, core and mince half a pound of soft-fleshed apples.
Put these into a basin with ½ lb self rising flour.
Mix to a batter with 1 duck or 2 hens’ eggs; flavour with almonds, and add one oz of sugar.
Fry with lard.
Dust sugar over when they are cooked, roll up and serve with quarter lemon.
Make a strong cupful of Fry’s concentrated essence of cocoa,
flavour it with Vanilla.
Beat up three eggs, and when the cocoa is cool, use it with the eggs in making a batter with flour that has been browned in the oven.
Fry in lard.
Spread greengage jam over and serve.
Empress Eugenie Pancakes
They consist entirely of farina, mostly cornflour or potato fecula (a thickening starch).
Four tablespoonfuls to two of sugar and 8 eggs
quarter of a pint of new milk,
a small glass of cognac.
Fry in clarified butter,
and drop in candied violets and orange-flower (?*) in equal quantities.
These delicious bonnes-bouches are crisp and have a peculiarly pleasant taste. They are served on separate plates, and must not be covered down or placed over each other when serving.
* I think this must be orange flower essence, as that is an ingredient used in Napoleonic recipes.
Two tablespoons of farola (A free-flowing cream coloured fine granular powder milled from durum wheat).
Beat up an egg with a cupful of new milk and a teaspoonful of sugar.
Make the farola into a batter.
Fry in boiling lard.
This will make 3 pancakes.
Into the centre of each drop a thin ring off a small fine rinded orange.
Just before tossing dust the orange with a little farola;
this will prevent it adhering to the pan.
Prince George of Wales’s Pancake
which is compounded of one tablespoonful of cornflour and two of the finest white flour,
a teaspoonful of baking powder,
and one of fine white sugar.
Beat up 2 large eggs
add sufficient cream or milk to make the flour into a thick butter;
add a glass of maraschino or sweet white wine:
put into a small omelette-pan one oz of butter.
When it leaves off frothing and turns a pale golden colour,
pour in a teaspoonful of the batter,
scatter over the top mixed angelica and pistachio nuts.
Turn; cook very lightly on the decorated side;
dust with fine castor sugar, and serve.
The Victoria Regina Pancakes
Put into a basin 4 oz fine flour,
1 oz ground almond flour,
2 oz of fine castor sugar,
a saltspoonful of cinnamon (or mixed spice);
mix well together,
form into a batter, with 3 eggs beaten up with a quarter of a pint of cream, and if more liquid is needed add new milk.
The quantity will depend on the size of the eggs.
When well mixed add a glass of brandy.
Fry in butter.
Drop in slices of dried
apricot, cherries, angelica and shred almonds, or desiccated coconut that has been steeped in the brandy.
Try to arrange these in a pattern.
The angelica can be stamped with a crown shaped vegetable cutter.
Cook well on the underside,
and to a delicate tint on the upper.
Mr Broom’s Indigestion powders
Bismuth 100 grs
Bicarb Soda 100 grs
Ginger 30 grs
Morphia 1 gr
Taken in skim milk immediately before meals.
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
(anyway, it is difficult and illegal to obtain the required morphia)