Lucy fisher's failsafe recipe for perfect pancakes

Jim and Lucy Fisher, co-owners of Exeter Cookery School, are firm fans of the classic pancake whatever day of the year. On Pancake Day, however, the humble pancake is an essential food tradition in the Fisher household.

Pancakes, or crêpes, come in many different forms, shapes and sizes, and of course with many different possible toppings. To be sure of making your friends and / or family happy on Pancake Day, however, make sure you follow Lucy Fisher’s Perfect Pancake Recipe.


Makes 4-6 pancakes

100g plain or self-raising flour

Large pinch of salt

1 medium egg

300ml milk

1 tbsp melted butter

Vegetable oil for frying

  • Mix the flour and salt with the unbeaten egg, half the milk and the melted butter until the mix is smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in the remaining milk to a smooth consistency about the same as single cream.
  • Heat a 20cm frying pan to med/med high and brush lightly with vegetable oil.
  • Pour in about 100-150ml (2-3 tbs) of the batter mixture and swirl around so the base of the pan is thinly and evenly covered.
  • Leave it alone until the edges just start to curl up and come away from the pan (this takes more patience than you might expect, especially for the first pancake).
  • Using the edge of a silicone spatula, lift an edge and take a peek underneath. You are looking for an even golden brown. You should be able to slide the pancake around the frying pan with a gentle shake. If it gets stuck, just slide your spatula gently underneath to loosen.
  • Once this is achieved, flip or toss the pancake onto its other side.
  • Leave for about 30 seconds and then take another peek underneath. This time it will be mottled medium to dark brown.
  • Turn out onto a plate.
  • Lightly oil the pan again and repeat. Take care not to use too much oil or the pancake will fry and be greasy, instead of dry to the touch. You might find that you need to adjust the heat up or down as you go, as the pan will heat and cool when you put the batter in.
  • You can either serve hot immediately or re-heat in the oven at about 100°C for about 10mins, covered with tin foil or another plate to avoid them drying out.
  • When it comes to what to put on your pancakes, well that’s up to you. Jim and I like to opt for a classic lemon and sugar – and don't skimp on either! Or maybe maple syrup and clotted cream.

Lucy Fisher’s Top 5 Tips for making perfect pancakes…

  1. Don’t put sugar in your mixture - let the filling do the sweet talking!
  2. The batter should be the consistency of single cream so that it makes a thin pancake.
  3. Choose your best non-stick pan and for added peace of mind, season it: heat the pan up to medium high, pour in a dessert spoon of cooking oil, swirl it around to coat the surface of the pan, then take it off the heat and leave it to cool down. Then, finally, wipe out the excess with some kitchen paper. Heating the pan opens up the pores in the metal, allowing the oil to enter, getting trapped when the pan cools down.
  4. Don’t expect the first one to come out perfectly – it is quite common to discard the first pancake you make, giving you the chance to have a practice flip.
  5. Take the pressure out of Pancake Day by making your pancakes ahead of time. You can keep a batch in the fridge or even freezer until you are ready to warm them up. And don’t forget to relax, it’s only a pancake after all.