Shrovetide, Shrove Tuesday, Pancakes and more

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Yes, it’s time to enjoy those rich foods before Lent, if you do abstain or fast.

I thought I’d help you enjoy this day with some interesting videos and yummy recipes…

In this video, my faithful canine friend, Teasel, helps me to explain Shrovetide and how medieval and Tudor people celebrated it:

And a few years ago, our very own pancake king, my husband, Tim, made Tudor-inspired pancakes:

Recipe for Tim’s Tudor inspired pancakes

3 eggs
6oz/170g plain flour
1/2 pint/250ml milk
1/4 pint/125ml ale (whatever you fancy or you could use water)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a grating of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
A knob of butter

I mention fritters in the video and here is a recipe for those:

Lady Elinor Fettiplace’s Apple Fritters

Taken from Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book edited by Hilary Spurling.

Take the whites of eggs and beat them very well, then put to them some creame, and a little flower, and some cloves and mace beaten smale, and some sugar, and the pap of two or three boiled apples and stir it well alltogether, then fry it in a frying pan with some sweet butter, and when it is half fried, break it in pieces like fritters and so fry it.

Here’s my version based on Hilary Spurling’s adaptation of Elinor’s recipe:

2 small apples (or 1 cooking apple), peeled, cored and sliced
2 egg whites
2 rounded tablespoonfuls of sugar, mixed with 1 rounded tablespoonful of flour, 2 ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Knob of butter

Stew the apple slices gently in a little water until the apple is a soft pulp.
Beat 2 egg whites stiffly, then fold in (with a metal spoon) 2 rounded tablespoonfuls of sugar mixed with 1 rounded tablespoonful of flour, 2 ground cloves and half a teaspoonful of cinnamon.
Add 4 tablespoonfuls of cream and then add the apple.
Melt 1 ounce or 25g of butter in a saucepan until very hot and then pour in the apple mixture and cook over a moderate flame for 3-4 minutes on each side.

British pancakes are thin, like French crêpes rather than the thicker American-style pancakes. Here are video tutorials on how to make modern British pancakes:

The traditional topping for pancakes in the UK is lemon and sugar. I sprinkle on sugar and then drizzle fresh lemon juice over the top. But our family also enjoys nutella, maple syrup and jam, not all at the same time though!

Oh and if you need to work off a few of the calories, then why not try a family pancake race? The Olney pancake race dates back to the 15th century:

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3 thoughts on “Shrovetide, Shrove Tuesday, Pancakes and more”
  1. Interesting to hear about the traditions the Tudors did on shrove Tuesday Claire, so thank you for that, Iv got a pancake mix but am a bit under the weather so won’t be attempting to make any, but I hope you enjoy yours. Ps lovely to see the adorable little Teasel again.

  2. Sorry to hear you are not well, Christine, hope you feel better soon.

    Thanks for these lovely videos, Claire and Tim.

    Teasel is so cute. I think it’s really Teasle whose the boss. Tim is obviously house trained as well, making those delicious pancakes. I don’t make them any more so I get the smaller ones as Steve doesn’t like them. If I have them I have honey on them or fruit or cream or all three.

    The Tudors had tournaments as well to celebrate Shrove Tide. Henry is supposed to have fallen in love twice at this time, once with Anne and once with Mary Boleyn, with his banners showing pierced hearts and messages like She Has Wounded My Heart. However, we don’t really know if this is correct but it doesn’t really matter as its romantic anyway. His whole team had the same theme and it was typical to do this at tournaments.

    Didn’t Sir Francis Bryan lose his eye at one of the Shrovetide jousts? To be honest I got caught out yesterday so didn’t bother. I had a box of chocolates instead.

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