A quire of paper
Puddings and cakes
- Serves: 6
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 115g (4oz) plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 25g (1oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- Unsalted butter for frying
- 300ml (1⁄2 pint) single cream or
- half cream and milk
- 2 tablespoons medium sherry or Madeira
- Caster sugar, for sprinkling
Much admired by 17th- and 18th-century cooks, a quire of paper consisted of a pile of wafer-thin pancakes.
The batter, rich with eggs and cream, was run as thinly as possible over the bottom of a heavy pan and cooked on one side only. The completed pancakes were dredged with caster sugar and laid evenly one upon another until the pile contained twenty. A wine sauce and melted butter were served with the pancakes, which were cut into wedges like a cake.
- Sieve flour and salt together into a basin.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour.
- Put eggs and egg yolks into the well and gradually mix eggs and flour together.
- Add cream (or cream and milk) gradually, beating well until a smooth batter is formed.
- Stir in the sherry or Madeira to make a thin cream.
- Heat a heavy-based pancake or omelet pan, brush with melted butter and add 1 tablespoon of batter.
- Twist the pan until the bottom is evenly coated with batter and cook until pancake is golden brown on the bottom.
- Remove from pan or turn over and cook the other side. Keep warm in a clean tea towel.
- Make a stack of pancakes, filling them with jam and whipped cream or whatever you choose.
- Sprinkle liberally with caster sugar.
- Serve hot, cut into wedges, with Eliza Acton's Madeira sauce