Three citrus syrups to zing up your pancakes


Getting ready for pancakes and citrus syrups

It’s Shrove Tuesday today and home cooks, restaurants and school kitchens will celebrating the day by beating eggs, flour and milk to together to make pancakes. This year we’ll be making thin, crepe-like pancakes; thicker US-style pancakes and perhaps on the on-trend Japanese pancakes which are made up to 3cm high, shaped with an egg ring and wobbled rather that flipped.

Many of us will be using family recipes, preciously shared through the generations. So, to complement your batter beauties, here are three quick ideas to make orange and lemon syrups to give your Pancake Day an extra citrussy-zing. Personally … I also enjoy pancakes all year round with one of treats or simply spritzed with fresh lemon and lots of sugar!

If you can get Blood oranges, or for the more squeamish, Blush oranges ( as the supermarkets have begun to call them) then they add extra colour and a little tartness which helps offset the sugar. They’re in season now!

Oh, and don’t throw away those oranges skins after they’ve been juiced. Before squeezing, pare for candied peel; peel twists in your favourite cocktail or gather the zest which can be frozen in ice trays with a drop of water.

Lots of sugar in these recipes, so whenever in the year you make your pancakes, feel better by serving with fresh fruit – perhaps strawberries, blue berries, bananas.


Tea towel recipe, used once a year on Shrove Tuesday!


70ml freshly squeezed orange juice
70ml fresh lemon juice
65 gm caster sugar

Place the three ingredients into a saucepan. Over a low heat, stir until sugar has dissolved into juice. Whack up the heat, boil for around 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Keep a close eye of the liquid to prevent burning. It’ll also be very hot, so take care when handling. Pour over pancakes and enjoy!


10 oranges, 6 juiced, 4 segmented
100g/3½oz icing sugar
125g/4½oz butter, diced, softened
4 sprigs fresh mint

For the orange butter sauce, strain the orange juice through a sieve into a saucepan and add the icing sugar.
Gradually bring the mixture to the boil and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter, a little at a time.
To serve, scatter the orange segments over each crêpe and roll up.
Spoon over the orange sauce and garnish with a sprig of mint.


1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 1 mandarin
1 tbs lemon juice
1 stick cinnamon
85 gm honey

Gently mingle lemon and orange zest, the orange, mandarin and lemon juice, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepanBring to boiling point, before reducing heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.
Stir in honey and add cinnamon stick. Stir well and bring to a boil until the liquid has reduced to syrup. Will take around 20 minutes, but keep a close eye on the liquid to prevent burning.
Remove from heat and strain. Pour over pancakes, and enjoy.

Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

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