These thick, spongy pancakes are quite different from the thin crêpes that are served with a sprinkling of lemon juice and a crunch of sugar as described on page 339. These pancakes can be served in a stack, drizzled with maple syrup or, as here, singly or in pairs, piled high with berries.
Plan a special breakfast – someone’s birthday, perhaps – and prepare the basic batter but don’t add the egg whites the night before. Cover and refrigerate the batter overnight. Next morning all you will need to do is whisk the egg whites and fold them into the batter just before cooking the pancakes. But remember that the egg whites will need to be at room temperature to whisk properly.
Makes 12 pancakes
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 cups buttermilk or milk plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 60 g butter, melted
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- extra butter or clarified butter, for cooking
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries or other berries
Preheat the oven to 100°C (80°C fan-forced) and put an ovenproof plate inside.
Have 2 large bowls ready. Separate the eggs – carefully slip the yolks into 1 bowl and the whites into the other. Beat the egg yolks well, then whisk in the buttermilk and melted butter. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda over the egg mixture. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture using a large metal spoon.
When you are ready to cook the pancakes whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter using a large metal spoon. Do this gently – you need to keep as much air in the batter as possible.
Melt 2 teaspoons extra butter in a 24 cm heavy-based stainless steel or enamelled cast-iron (non-reactive) frying pan over medium heat. When the butter is sizzling, use a ¼ cup measure to ladle in 2 lots of batter to make 2 pancakes. Cook until bubbles form on the uncooked side of each pancake. Flip the pancakes with a flexible metal spatula and cook the other side. Transfer the cooked pancakes to the warmed plate in the oven. Add more clarified butter and continue until all the batter is used up.
When all the pancakes are cooked and are keeping warm in the oven, add a knob of butter and the berries to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1–2 minutes until the berries are just starting to bubble.
Serve the pancakes with the hot berries spooned on top.
- Try chunks of ripe stone fruit, such as peaches, apricots or plums, as a change from berries.
- You could replace 50 g of the flour with 50 g sifted cocoa to make chocolate pancakes.
- Use a mixture of 200 g plain flour and 100 g fine polenta or wholemeal flour.
I have chosen to measure flour by weight rather than cups in this book, unless the result doesn’t depend on an exact amount. Precision is important when baking. Sometimes it is straightforward to convert a weight measurement to cups, but sometimes it is not and disappointment can follow. One cup of flour weighs 150 g.