Pancakes for Dummies: Carina Contini shares her foolproof pancake recipe in time for Shrove Tuesday

As Pancake Day approaches on Tuesday, Edinburgh restaurateur Carina Contini gives us her recipe for basic pancakes.

Nona Olivia’s Pancakes – Carina Contini of Edinburgh’s Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, Contini George Street and Cannonball House

If you’re attempting pancakes for the first time, Nonna Olivia’s recipe is pretty fool-proof. Once cooked, these golden pancakes can be topped with whatever you want. However, for a citrusy and sophisticated option, I suggest adding a tablespoon of lemon curd, a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprig of mint.

Serves 3-4


200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

85g granulated sugar

Carina Contini's pancakesCarina Contini's pancakes
Carina Contini's pancakes

200ml full-fat milk

2 eggs

pinch of salt

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1 Put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a glass bowl. Slowly blend in the milk and eggs using a balloon whisk, then add the pinch of salt. The mixture should be wet, but not too runny. You don’t need to leave the batter to rest, but you can keep it for three to hours in the fridge if it’s not needed immediately.

2 Place the griddle pan over a medium heat. When it is hot to the touch – be careful not to burn yourself – add 1 tbsp of the batter at a time. The mixture will spread a little, but it shouldn’t run.

3 After a few moments, you’ll start to see tiny bubbles appearing on the surface of the pancake. As soon as eight or ten bubbles appear, quickly flip the pancake over. It should be a lovely light golden colour on the underside. Cook it for another 10–15 seconds, until the other side is golden, then remove to a plate covered by a clean tea towel.

4 Continue cooking your pancakes until all the batter is used up. Try not to eat them as they’re ready, otherwise you’ll get distracted.

And then, before you know it, they’ll be all gone and there will be none left for the children. If you want, when they’ve cooled slightly, try adding my suggested toppings, which include a scoop of creme fraiche, a drizzle of lemon curd, a couple of mint sprigs or even a crumbling of meringue.

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