This weekend we treated ourselves to a fine American breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup. I was inspired by a recipe in Diana Henry’s newly re-published book Roast Figs, Sugar Snow ,which is packed full of cold-weather recipes. As it happens, Sunday was lovely and mild, but the pancakes did set us up perfectly for a trip to Peppa Pig World!
Diana’s recipe for ‘Mile-High Buttermilk Pancakes’ comes with an instruction to “bring them to the table in a mile-high pile as if you’re running your own diner – with a big pot of steaming coffee.” Diana suggests serving her pancakes with date and pecan butter, which sounds divine too – butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, dates and vanilla, but my cupboard was sadly lacking in any pecans or dates, so I didn’t make the butter. A few pears in the fruit bowl, did, however, inspire me to do as the Poles do and slice some fruit into some of the pancakes as the batter hit the pan. You can do this with peeled apples too, or even banana. Pancakes are also a great way of using up random bags of flour and since I had some organic buckwheat flour (happens to be gluten free) in the cupboard, I used that instead of plain flour and sweetened the batter up with cinnamon sugar, instead of caster sugar. That’s what I love about pancake batter – it’s a great vehicle for a little twist or two. Adding the buttermilk and beaten eggs whites to the batter are what make Diana’s pancakes soft and light as air.
I’m looking forward to cooking lots more from Diana’s book and giving it proper credit very soon. I’m also going to be meeting her next week (I am SUPER excited) and am looking forward to asking her what her very favourite recipes are from the book. Any burning questions for me to ask her?
Buckwheat and Buttermilk Pancakes (with pears and maple syrup)
(adapted from Diana Henry’s Mile-High Buttermilk Pancakes from Roast Figs, Sugar Snow)
250g flour – I used organic buckwheat flour, you can use this or plain
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
500ml buttermilk (I made my own by adding 2 tbsp lemon juice to 500 ml whole milk and leaving it for ten minutes)
50g melted butter
3 large eggs, 2 of them separated
Vegetable oil or spray for the pan
3 ripe pears or apples sliced
Maple syrup – loads of it!
(You’ll need 3 clean bowls)
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
2. Mix the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs together in a second bowl – keeping the two egg whites seperate.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour bowl and gradually add the buttermilk mixture, whisking as you go along.
4. Beat the two eggs whites with a clean whisk in your third bowl until they form soft peaks. Add a scoop of the beaten egg whites to your pancake batter and gently mix in then add the rest of the egg whites and only stir until it is all mixed in then stop.
5. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan (or use butter) and use a ladle to pour your pancake batter into the pan (you are aiming for small round pancakes – my pan fit in three at a time). Once the batter is in the pan, place a few slices of pears or apples onto each pancake. Bubbles will appear on the sufrace and after a minute or so you can flip them over – they should be golden on the bottom.
6. Add a tiny bit more oil to the pan as you make each batch. Serve as you go along or layer the, up and keep them warm in a low oven.
7. Drizzle with maple syrup once at the table.
A recipe to bookmark for next Sunday perhaps… How was your weekend? Any tasty treats or adventures to share?