Gingerbread pancakes with Parma ham & maple syrup

Major brownie points are awarded to anyone who goes the extra mile on Sunday and rustles up this breakfast dish. If you prefer to have the pancakes plain, then just omit the cinnamon, ground ginger, lemon zest, vanilla and sugar; this plain mix can also be used for your Yorkshire puddings.

 Time from start to finish: 20 minutes

 Serves: 4 Equipment: Large bowl, zester, large frying pan, 2 baking trays 

225g self-raising flour 

3 tbsp soft light brown sugar 

1 tsp baking powder

 1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger 

Pinch of salt 

½ lemon 

½ vanilla pod (or a couple of drops of vanilla extract) (optional) 

300ml semi-skimmed milk 

1 medium egg 

Sunflower oil 

12 slices of Parma ham (or bacon) 

To serve 

100ml maple syrup 

100g sour cream or half-or full-fat crème fraîche 

+ Preheat the oven to 110 ° C, (fan 90 ° C), 225 ° F, Gas Mark ½. This is to keep the pancakes warm, as they are cooked in batches. 

+ Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt into a large bowl, give them a quick mix and make a well in the centre. Finely grate the lemon zest in. Split the vanilla pod open, scrape the seeds out and add them too (or vanilla extract, if using). Then gradually pour the milk in bit by bit, stirring all the time to give a smooth mixture. Beat the egg in well and set aside. 

+ Put a drizzle of oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat and cook the Parma ham (or bacon) for 2–3 minutes on each side until nice and crisp. Then remove with tongs and drain on kitchen paper. Tip onto a baking tray and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. 

+ Leave the pan on the heat, but reduce it to low and add a little bit more oil if need be. Then spoon in four dollops of the pancake mix (to spread to about 10cm wide). Leave to cook for 1–2 minutes until golden, then flip them over and cook for another 1–2 minutes. Slide them onto a baking tray and put in the oven to keep warm. Then repeat with the remaining mix to give 12 in total. 

+ Once you have made all of the pancakes, divide them between four plates. I like to pile the Parma ham high on them, drizzle with the maple syrup and serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.
Big love

Lorraine xxx

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