always perfect pancakes

pancakes"So what did you get up to this weekend?" It's the perennial Monday morning question. And for the last four or so months, my answer has normally started with "Well, Saturday was pancake Saturday..." I've been perfecting this recipe for as many months. Twelve variations later, (including one horrible, hungover version on New Year's Day where the honeycomb stuck to the pan and everyone ate with their fingers) and I think I've finally got it. And what better day to share it with you all than Shrove Tuesday.

Shrove Tuesday falls each year on the last Tuesday before Lent. Pancakes were traditionally made on this day because it was a quick and easy way to use up the last of the eggs, sugar and milk before the fasting began. Apparently in countries of the Carnival tradition, today is known as Fat Tuesday. All the more better for pancakes then!

pancakes

always perfect pancakes
makes 20 pancakes(10cm diameter)

ingredients:

4 eggs
2 tbs white sugar
375ml buttermilk (or 200ml milk + 175ml greek yoghurt)
50g melted butter
1.5C self raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon sugar
200g fresh ricotta

method:

1. Separate your eggs. "From what?" you ask. From each other. Not like that. Whites go in one bowl, yolks in the other. Try not to make a mess.

separate eggs
separate the eggs

2. Add the sugar to the egg yolks (they're the yellow ones). Beat with an electric mixer (or, if you are traditional, a whisk) until they are pale and creamy. If you are traditional, this will take a while.

beat egg yolks
beating the egg yolks

3. Pour the buttermilk and melted butter in with the (now creamy) egg yolks. Mix well. Buttermilk does not taste like butter mixed with milk. It is not nice to have on your cereal. Or your toast. It does make the pancakes wonderfully fluffy though.

4. Sift the flour in over the egg yolk mixture. Also add the cinnamon sugar. This is good for having on toast. The sugar, not the flour. Mix until it is well combined.

4a. If you are waking up early to have people over for breakfast the next morning, stop here and stick the (glad wrapped) bowl in the fridge overnight. I have done this and it resulted in wonderfully quick and easy pancakes for the next day. It also minimises the mess that you will have to clean up afterwards.

4b. Take the bowl out of the fridge. No use making pancakes in the fridge.

5. Crumble the ricotta into the bowl. Mix. Don't break it up too much. Also try not to eat too much of it as it goes in.

crumbled ricotta
fold in crumbled ricotta

6. Beat egg whites to soft peaks.

egg whites soft peaks
beating the egg whites

7. Carefully (Carefully!!) fold the egg whites into the bowl until combined. Your pancake mix will be lovely and light at this stage. Keep it that way.

egg whites
fold in egg whites

8. Melt some butter into a pan and scoop 1/2 cup blobs of the mix in to make your pancakes. Wait, watch for bubbles, then flip. Watch your pancakes go *puff!* after you flip them. Pat yourself on the back for being so delicate.

9. Serve with banana caramel sauce (below), or, for a treat, chop some strawberries up, add a spoonful of brown sugar and a good slosh of balsamic vinegar and go for your life!

pancakes
mmmm... pancakes!

banana caramel sauce
makes enough for 10 pancakes

ingredients:

2 bananas
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs butter

banana

method:

1. Chop your banana up into bits. Not too small, otherwise you'll end up with banana mush. Also not too big, or it'll stay uncooked. Quarter the slices and you're about right.

2. Stick chopped banana, sugar & butter into a little saucepan.

banana in saucepan

3. Put it over a low heat, stirring infrequently, whilst you make your pancakes. By the time they're all done, this will be done, and you will be ready for action!

empty plate



oh! and ps) drop by a table for two today to raise some dollahs for pancake day - alls you need to do is go *click*

14 bites more:

billy@ATFT said...

your version looks good. I will give that a try! Thanks for linking me! Happy Pancake Day! :)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Wow, 12 attempts? That's rather good of you. I can see that the perfect pancake became a bit of a passion. Thanks for sharing your recipe Shez :)

FFichiban said...

MMmmm yummy caramel bananana sauce and ricotta pancakes!
Also love the foolproof instructions hee hee perfect for me!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

That sauce sounds super! Banana and caramel is a lovely combination.

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

yum these look so good, and i love the idea of substituting greek yoghurt and milk for buttermilk!

shez said...

Billy: thankyou, and hope the recipe didn't cause you too much trouble. i've never eaten them with peanut butter & bacon before!

Lorraine: you're welcome, and a little bit yes. looks like i need to find something new to cook to death now...

FFichiban: *nods* tell me if you have any trouble. it's a little fiddlier than most recipes (which tend to be "1. dump everything in a bowl; 2. stir; 3. cook") but i've never had any trouble with it.

Arwen: the sauce does well on icecream as well. plus it's so easy. try try!

Helen: the yoghurt gives the pancakes a wonderful sour flavour and forms lovely little bubbles of air in the pancake batter when it's cooked. the pancake turns out a little heavier this way, but some prefer it like that. also good for when you can't be bothered buying buttermilk. :)

Babydoll's Project 365 said...

great receipe Shez (fool proof, perfect for me haha!)

shez said...

Babydoll's Project 365: thanks! hope it works out for you :)

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

What a wonderful treat first thing in the morning...or after dinner! I just made caramelized bananas myself for the first time - where have these been all my life? Just like candy.

Takako said...

This looks lovely. I'll definitely put it on my list of Saturday morning breakfast ideas!

Joy the Baker said...

I'm downright obsessed with pancakes! This recipe is definitely going on the list. Gorgeous!

shez said...

Kathy: oh! aren't they? i'm always eating them straight out of the saucepan and burning myself cos i just can't wait for them to cool...

Takako: thankyou! they're quick & easy too if you prepare the night before.

Joy the Baker: me too - though after making all those batches, i'm a little pancake'd out!

Hillary said...

Oh, I'm convinced! After I made these lemon ricotta cookies, I will back you up that ricotta makes everything moist and delicious! Love the addition of bananas!

Christine said...

These are soo yummy!
Quick question though... are they freezable/reheatable?

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