If you’ve ever wondered why it’s traditional to eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday, as it known in New Orleans), here’s why. Long ago, the Catholic church decreed that the faithful should abstain from eating meat, butter, milk and eggs during the 40-day Lenten fasting period before Easter. So people used up their dairy supplies and made lots of pancakes before austerity set in.
The pre-Lent pancake tradition lives on as Pancake Day throughout western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but is especially popular in Britain, where Pancake Day races still take place. Contestants run as fast as they can while holding a skillet and simultaneously flipping pancakes without dropping them. Bet they can’t do that at IHop.Yogurt-Rice Flour Pancakes
A gluten-free batter makes exceptionally light pancakes, and cooking them on an ungreased nonstick griddle ensures a fine surface texture. The recipe is easy to double.
Makes about 16 three-inch pancakes.
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (European style, not the condensed Greek kind)
TIP: Eggs at Easter don’t have to be chocolate. For a grown-up appetizer, omit the sugar, and make the pancakes only 2 inches wide. Top with sour cream and fish eggs, aka caviar. Recipe reprinted with permission from The Wheat-Free Cook, Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone (Wm. Morrow) by Jacqueline Mallorca