What do you think of putting coins in your pancakes Tuesday night? I think it might be overrated — giving your kids air time for their cellphones or a gift card from the nearest coffee shop or fast-food joint might be easier and more hygienic.
But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Pancake Day is definitely a tradition worth keeping. All you need to do is decide which meal will include pancakes and which recipe to pick. Each of these recipes will serve four.
Best ever blueberry buttermilk breakfast pancakes
This is the ultimate mile-high fluffy cake that will start your day on a spectacular note. Yes, they are a little more work, but it’s worth it. Dart out for buttermilk and fresh berries and you’ll be ready for Pancake Morning.
1-1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/3 cups buttermilk (or soured milk in a pinch)
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups fresh or frozen-thawed blueberries
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and stir all at once into dry ingredients. Gently fold in blueberries. Beat egg whites until foamy; add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold into batter and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so. Drop by spoonfuls into a non-stick pan that is lightly coated with cooking spray, oil or melted butter and cook on first side over medium-high heat until bubbles form on the tops and bottoms are golden. Flip and fry until golden on the other side. Keep warm until ready to serve. Don’t bother with table syrup — go straight for the real flavour of maple. If you can’t find or don’t want to buy buttermilk, put 2 tbsp. vinegar in a measuring cup and fill to the 1-1/3 cup mark with skim or 2 per cent milk; allow to stand 10 minutes.
Savory bacon and vegetable pancakes
If you just can’t fathom pancakes for supper how about serving them as a side dish? These are delicious with baked beans or grilled fish or meat. Yogurt or sour cream and maybe a chopped green onion would make great toppings, but all I need is hot mustard to make a meal of these.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
few drops Worcestershire sauce
4 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, fat reserved
1 cup each grated carrots and zucchini
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Sift flour with baking powder, salt and pepper. Whisk together egg, milk and Worcestershire. Stir in bacon, carrot, zucchini, onion, garlic and oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry quickly — don’t worry about little specks of flour — and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by small spoonfuls into reserved bacon fat (or vegetable oil) in a non-stick pan. Fry over medium-high heat until the bottoms are golden. Flip and cook on the other side.
Exotic banana spice pancakes
If you’re looking for something a little different, this might be the one for you. The rum is reminiscent of Bananas Foster, while the cardamom donates the ultimate exoticism.
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pinch cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. dark rum
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cardamom, salt. In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, rum, vanilla, oil and bananas. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing just until combined — don’t mind the lumps. Drop by spoonfuls into a hot pan with a little oil or butter and fry until big bubbles show on the surface and the bottoms are golden. Flip and cook on the other sides. Serve with your favourite syrup or chopped fruit.
Just your regular old pancakes
If easy but delicious is your goal, then this is the recipe for you. No exotic ingredients, no special instructions, just good old-fashioned pancakes.
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/3 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted and cooled
If you have a blender, drop in the works and whiz a few seconds until nearly smooth. If mixing by hand, whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and butter and stir into dry until combined — don’t overmix. Drop by spoonfuls into a greased frying pan and cook until big bubbles break the surface. Flip and cook until golden brown. I like these with molasses but they are truly a blank canvas for your favourite topping—syrup, jam, chopped fruit and yogurt, sweetened whipped cream — it’s all up to you on Pancake Day.
Cynthia Stone is a writer, editor and teacher in St. John’s. Questions may be sent to her c-o The Telegram, P.O. Box 86, St. John’s, N.L, A1E 4N1.