Traditional lemon pancakes

Puddings and cakes

  • Serves: 8
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings, by Sara Paston-Williams © National Trust Books

Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings, by Sara Paston-Williams


  • 115g (4oz) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml (1⁄2 pint) milk
  • 15g (1⁄2oz) melted butter
  • Butter, for frying
  • Caster sugar, for sprinkling
  • 2 lemons, for serving



Although probably not of British origin, pancakes have been established here for so many centuries that they may be considered a national institution.

When Lent was strictly observed, eggs and fatty foods were forbidden for forty days and so pancake-making became associated with Shrove Tuesday in the UK, to use up any remaining eggs, butter and milk before the fasting.

  1. Sieve flour and salt together into a basin.
  2. Stir in lemon rind.
  3. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg.
  4. Beat well, incorporating the flour, and add half the liquid very gradually, beating all the time until a smooth batter is formed.
  5. Add remaining liquid a little at a time and beat until well mixed.
  6. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Stir melted butter into the batter just before cooking.
  8. Heat a very little butter in a pancake or omelet pan until very hot.
  9. Spoon in a tablespoon of batter and tip the pan until batter covers its base. Cook until golden brown underneath.
  10. Turn over with a palette knife and cook the other side until golden.
  11. Turn out on to sugared greaseproof paper, sprinkle with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve immediately with extra sugar and lemon wedges, or keep warm in the oven until needed.


Orange pancakes
Add grated rind of 2 oranges to the batter and cook in the usual way. To serve, sprinkle with sugar and pour orange juice over the pancakes.

Caramelized apple pancakes
Fill cooked pancakes with apple slices sautéed in a little butter. Fold over and sprinkle generously with caster or icing sugar. Place under a hot grill just long enough to crisp the pancakes and glaze the sugar.

(c) National Trust Books/Sara Paston Williams, 2010.
Extracted from Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings by Sara Paston-Williams (2010)
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