I am very pleased with this recipe from my cookbook Friends, Food, Family: Recipes and Secrets from LibertyLondonGirl. These American-style pancakes are super soft and fluffy – I described them on Twitter as mattresses for hamsters and, best of all, they take less than five minutes to prepare and not much longer to cook.
We never had pancakes for breakfast, growing up, but my five years in America introduced me to the joy of a short stack with melted butter, syrup cascading down the sides, and berries and powdered sugar decorating the whole. It’s a fine way to start the day. If you really wanted to go the whole American hog, then strips of very crispy bacon would not go astray either.
Pancakes are perfect for serving to large mixed groups, as both children and adults love them. I have seen plenty of parents stealing bits from their kids’ plates when they think no one is watching. If you get cracking just before everyone sits down, then you will thank yourself, because most people will eat at least three of these. Fortunately, they are resilient beasts, and won’t suffer too badly if left for a few minutes, while you get on with the rest.
This recipe is from my cookbook, but instead of the syrup and blueberries version I photographed for it, for this blog post I made them with pan-fried caramelised dessert apples. They were so delicious that I am afraid I ate the entire plate after I had photographed it. Oops.
This recipe makes 10 to 12 pancakes, based on a size of 3 to 4 inches [8 to 10 cm] across.
2 medium eggs
175g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
4 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup [240 ml] buttermilk
11⁄3 cups + 1 Tbsp [175 g] all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp sunflower oil
Secret: If you don’t have buttermilk at home, simply mix 1 Tbsp lemon juice into 3/4 cup [175 ml] whole milk.
It’s the work of moments to prepare the batter, which you can do the night before. Beat together the eggs and
the buttermilk, or milk and lemon juice. Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Now add the liquid ingredients to the sifted dry ones, and whisk together with a balloon whisk until smooth.
Add the oil to a frying pan and heat. Spoon the batter into the pan to make a circle about 3½ in [9 cm] in diameter.
Don’t make more than 2 or 3 simultaneously, as the oil temperature will drop and the pancakes will be soggy.
Flip the pancakes when the tops are still liquid, and you can see a few bubbles. These are a practice-makes-perfect thing: after making a couple you’ll be able to judge when to do the fl ip: usually earlier than you might think. You are aiming for a nicely browned bottom.
These are great drizzled with agave syrup and served with berries, but my current favourite is to take a small apple – a Cox’s Orange Pippin for choice – halve and core it, then thinly slice it.
Melt a small knob of butter in a frying pan, tip in the apple slices, and add a heaped teaspoon of either soft brown or caster sugar. Fry the apples in the melted butter whilst the sugar melts. The apples are done when they start to turn brown and the sugar has started to caramelise. Layer the slices between the pancakes and drizzle with the pan juices. Sift icing (confectioner’s) sugar over all.
Recipe reproduced from Friends, Food, Family: Recipes and Secrets from LibertyLondonGirl published by Quadrille in the UK.