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    Wholemeal pancakes with onions, lardons and gruyère

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    Wholemeal pancakes with onions, lardons and gruyère

    Inspired by the buckwheat crêpes I ate in France recently, these pancakes use wholemeal flour, which has a nutty flavour that complements the savoury filling. This is a good lunch on a cold day.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus standing
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes, plus standing 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    60g plain wholemeal flour
    60g plain flour
    Pinch of salt
    1 medium egg, lightly beaten
    300ml milk

    For the Filling:

    Sunflower oil, for fryingKnob of butter
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    200g pack bacon lardons
    100g Gruyère cheese, grated

    Method

    1. Sift both flours and the salt into a bowl, discarding any bran left in the sieve. Make a well in the centre. Pour the beaten egg and about 50ml milk into the well and start whisking. Gradually add more milk and incorporate more flour until you have a batter of a consistency slightly thicker than single cream. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and fry gently until golden and soft. Tip into a dish and keep warm. Add the lardons to the pan and fry until golden. Mix with the onions and keep warm.
    3. Heat a heavy, 18cm-20cm frying pan over a medium heat (a thin or warped pan means pancake disaster). When the pan is thoroughly heated, add 1 tbsp oil, swirl around then tip out any excess. Add enough batter to just coat the base of the pan (40ml-50ml), swirling it around quickly to make a pancake.
    4. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the edge begins to curl and the base is golden brown. Use a fish slice or palette knife to flip the pancake.
    5. Cook for 30-60 seconds more, then transfer to a warm plate. Return the pan to the heat, add a touch more oil, pour out any excess and repeat with the rest of the batter. The first one or two pancakes are reliably disastrous but the rest should be beautiful.
    6. Keeping the pancakes warm in the oven until all are cooked. Put a little pile of onion and bacon in the middle of each pancake, sprinkle with Gruyère, fold over the edges to form a square and serve immediately.

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    Variation

    You can enhance a plain pancake with all manner of sweet or savoury fillings - generally, the simpler the better. WFI's favourites include banana and chocolate or maple syrup and ice cream for the sweet-toothed, while savoury options include mushrooms cooked with a little cream and brandy or ham, cheese and a fried egg.

    A dish of classic crêpes suzette (pancakes cooked with butter, orange juice and brandy) is hard to beat. See Waitrose Food for All Seasons (Dorling Kindersley; £14.99) for a recipe.

    Give extra nutty flavour to pancakes that will include a robust savoury filling by using half plain and half spelt flour.

    Cooked pancakes can be cooled, then interleaved with greaseproof paper, wrapped, and kept frozen for up to 1 month.

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