There’s no better place to spend Shrove Tuesday than in Wales. Last year we looked at our own griddle-cooked Welsh cakes, this year, we’ll take a look at what we’ve got locally available to us in Wales to make your pancakes, or “crempogs” in Welsh, a little more interesting. With our abundance of fresh produce and a touch of culinary inspiration, the options for pancake varieties and fillings are almost endless.
With such choice at our fingertips, it seems a waste to save pancakes for dessert – why not go all out and really make a meal of it! From Welsh meat and cheeses to inherently Welsh ingredients such as laverbread and leeks, there’s plenty of combinations to keep even the most adventurous palate tantalised. Here’s some ideas to get you started…
Starting with the batter itself, why not try whisking fresh herbs or laverbread into the flour along with the eggs and milk. Both of these ingredients act as wonderful compliments to a whole host of fillings. Try a different take on the classic Welsh breakfast of laverbread with bacon & cockles with a laverbread pancake packed with lardons fried with onion the fore mentioned shellfish.
Laverbread is well suited as companion to most seafood. Try these pancakes with your favourite fishy fillings, from tuna and sweetcorn to crayfish and rocket. It also goes very well with lamb, something we have a lot of in Wales! Try wrapping it around some chunks of minted lamb with fresh salad leaves and fresh yoghurt.
Something for the Veggies
For those fancying something a bit less meaty; try the laverbread pancakes just with some grated mature Welsh cheddar. Instead of laverbread, try whisking your favourite herbs into the batter and filling with caramelised leeks and crumbly Caerphilly cheese or even creamy Perl Las with sautéed wild mushrooms.
If you’re still hungry for more after all of that, Wales still has bountiful fresh produce on hand to tempt your naughty side with afters. With Shrove Tuesday falling so much later this year, there’s already a lot of summer fruits to be found in local greengrocers and farmers markets. Try adding bicarbonate of soda to a thicker pancake batter and making American style pancakes with red berries cooked into them. Served with a melted white chocolate sauce, this should satisfy even the sweetest of sweet teeth.
It’s not just the fresh fruit we have on offer. Keep an eye out for Welsh preserves with some wonderful jams and fruit curds to be had, all making for wonderful pancake fillings. Given our lush, well watered countryside, it’s no surprise that we also have a lot of local honey on offer, a wonderful ingredient to add to spicy poached pears or just drizzled straight onto pancakes.
Indulge Yourself Before Lent
For those feeling a little bit more adventurous still, don’t forget that Wales also has many distilleries offering some delicious liqueurs to make a boozy fruit compote or even try a Welsh crepe suzette with your own choice of fruit and flambéed in Penderyn whisky.
We’re lucky enough to live near a weekly farmers market and stocked up over the weekend with Welsh butter, cream and duck eggs from the local farmers just to add that decadent touch to our pancakes.
Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas to go beyond the usual sugar and lemon juice. Get cooking and let us know how you get on!
To find out more about Welsh food, see our Food section.
This entry was originally posted to the Visit Wales blog on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 4:47pm