January 23, 2016

Lemon and Sultana Pancakes

You know when you see something in the grocery store and you convince yourself that you DON'T really want them and you'll make something better when you get home and ultimately convince yourself not to buy them?

You know what I'm talking about - right?

That was what happened EVERY SINGLE TIME I went to the grocery store last semester. Didn't matter which one I went to (apart from I guess the health food/middle eastern store but that was more because they didn't sell them...) - or what time of day it was, what I went in for or if I was hungry or not. 

I really wanted one of those packets of little lemon and sultana scotch pancakes that they sell. 

And I have really no idea why. I'd probably have one - max two and then not want anymore. But one or two little pancakes is not enough to keep me full - so I'd evidently end up eating something else with them and then I'd feel overfull - because I really don't need two breakfasts.

And what's worse - I probably wouldn't ENJOY them. I'd probably find them two sweet, the texture not right. I'd probably have those one or two - and then put the rest in the freezer. Where they would probably sit until the week before I need to move out of this flat at the end of the semester and then I'd have to panic about finishing a packet of pancakes I didn't want/like on top of panicking about exams. 

And who needs that?

So why did I crave these pancakes every-time I saw them. 

I have no clue. 

Well.... I do actually have several clues. Just because I know that I probably wouldn't like them very much now- doesn't mean that I don't remember liking them. Growing up - we always had a special breakfast on Saturdays. Special wasn't extraordinary. Sometimes Mom would make scotch pancakes or welsh cakes - often Dad would buy something from the store. Toaster waffles or brioche or hot cross buns or teacakes or crumpets ... pancakes. Two packets. One packet of plain ones for my brother (because yes - he is a weirdo who doesn't like raisins) and one packet of lemon and sultana. (FYI - we didn't eat a whole packet ourselves. Our parents would help. Often there would be some leftover). 

I loved the crispy edges and soft, fluffy interiors that arise from toasting them. How as they came out of the toaster oven they would be two hot to handle and you might drop them a few times trying to fish them out (because you obviously couldn't use a fork to do it - electrical shock risk). I loved how if you put butter etc. on them - they'd still have that hard, crispy, toasted outside but with a thin layer of intense flavor on top. (and to anybody who knows me - yes as a general rule I don't like butter. But I can remember how great it tasted when I did like it). Or syrup. Obviously syrup. Maple syrup that we used to much of and made our pancakes soggy with. How you could pick out all the sultanas before you ate the pancake and it would leave little holes where they'd been. The lucky dip of how sometimes you'd get seemingly hundreds of raisins - and sometimes you wouldn't get a single one and you'd be asking if one of the plain pancakes had gone for a walk and gotten lost in the wrong packets. 

I have seriously no idea why it took so long for me to get around to making these. I'd tell myself every time (so maybe twice a week on average) that I'd make these for almost 4 months. I guess I'm not very good at keeping the promises I make to myself. But for the first Saturday Morning pancakes back at uni - the day after my birthday and whilst prepping for a trip to IKEA - I found myself reaching for the raisins. I later found that I didn't have any lemon juice (or lemons) and okay - that was a bit (a big) flop in terms of the plan to make lemon and sultana pancakes - but who cares. I had some very nice sultana pancakes. 

My friend once asked me if I practised making things more than once before I published them on here. I answered that I TRY to - but it doesn't always work like that. This time I didn't post the first batch. I didn't plan to - it was kind of a busy morning. But it's a good job that I hadn't planned to. Because... well... 

First of all I had no lemon juice. And I could guess - but how could I make sure that I had the right amount of lemon if I didn't have and to add? And then there was the 'disaster' with the baking powder. It wasn't a disaster exactly.... it's just that I added way to much. Lets just say.... expect there to be a recipe for pickles coming soon. 

Lemon Sultana Pancakes 

Based on a recipe for drop scones from the Be-Ro Cookbook.
Serves 2, makes about 9 (sorry - I know 9 isn't divisible by two)

  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground flax-seeds (ground lin-seeds)
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 cup white flour (plain/all purpose)
  • 1/4 cup fine plain wholemeal flour/white wholemeal flour (this has a finer grind than normal wholemeal flour used for bread, and no bits. I recommend the Dove's Farm one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoons applesauce (apple puree, not the stuff sold in the UK as a condiment. Apple baby food is the easiest way to buy it in the UK)
  • 4-8 Tablespoons of milk (I used almond - but I'm pretty sure any type of plain milk would work)  
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (I used the stuff from a bottle - but go ahead and use freshly squeezed if you want!)
  • 2 Tablespoons of sultanas (This doesn't give pancakes with as much fruit in as the ones you buy, but it's enough for one fruit portion per serving of pancakes and I didn't want to add more as that raises the sugar content of the pancakes. If you like your pancakes with more fruit.... go crazy!)

  • Mix together the ground flax-seed and warm water in a small dish. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times. It should amalgamate to make a thick but kind of watery paste
  • Combine the flours and the baking powder in a measuring jug. If you don't have one a smallish bowl is fine, but I find a measuring just works best for smaller batches of batter like this. 
  • When the flax is ready, add that, the applesauce, the lemon juice and about 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) of the milk to the flour mix. Fold this in to form a batter. Test it for thickness - it should easily drop of a measuring spoon. If not add more milk. I needed 6 Tablespoons - but this does depend on the flours that you use so you will need to experiment a bit. Always remember that you can add more - but you can't take any away. Make sure that the first lot is stirred in fully before adding more. 
  • Heat up a lightly greased frying pan. My Mom swears by a well oiled griddle for pancakes - but I've found that I get much better results with a frying pan and a spray of oil. Plus I don't have a griddle. It should be quite hot. 
  • Fold in the raisins to the batter. 
  • Drop the mixture onto the frying pan. I used 2 Tablespoons for each pancake and could fit 3 in the pan at the time. You need to make sure that there's enough room to flip them. 
  • Cook for about 2-5 minutes on the first side, then use a spatula to flip them. You will know that they are ready because the edges will be solid and have changed color - although the middle will still be uncooked and liquid - and they will flip with the spatula very easily. Cook for roughly the same amount of time on the other side. Both sides should be golden brown. You don't want them too dark because then they will overcook if you have leftovers to toast the next time.
  • Continue until all the batter is used up. I found that I needed to turn the heat of the stove-top down with each pan-ful - otherwise the pan would get too hot as time progressed and the pancakes would burn before they were cooked through. 
  • I served mine with sunflower spread and honey - but syrup would also be more than great. They can be frozen and reheated in the toaster- just turn it down to the lowest setting so that they defrost first without toasting until they're burnt. If you don't use honey these pancakes are suitable for vegans. 


  1. I used to love Scotch pancakes too, I haven't had any in years!