There are few things in this world more guaranteed to bring smiles of joy to the faces of my husband and stepson than brinner. That is, breakfast for dinner.
Usually, this will mean a 'full English' breakfast of eggs, grilled bacon, sausage or black pudding, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and toast. Stepson squirts liberally with ketchup, husband with Tabasco, and we all tuck in to our naughty supper with childlike glee.
So when I asked my husband "What would you like on the menu this week?" I was not surprised to hear "Brinner!"....."But not normal brinner. Can we have pancakes pleeeaaase?"
To be completely honest, I'm not a huge fan of pancakes, preferring crepes or waffles if I had to choose. I generally prefer a savoury meal, but who am I to deny the occasional sweet-toothed whim of my favourite person?
Now one of the things that we have battled over a little in this house is what a pancake should be like. I prefer the more tender, thin version that is more common over here in the UK, with perhaps a little lemon juice and icing sugar. Drew is a staunch American pancake fan, fighting in the "It's called a panCAKE for a reason!" corner. American pancakes are definitely thicker and fluffier than their European friends and benefit most from lashings of real maple syrup and butter. They wouldn't be American pancakes without the requisite side of smoky bacon, although I used English back bacon rather than streaky because it has more meat in it.
It has taken me a while to get the recipe just right for these American pancakes, and I know that most of my readers are American, so this is like teaching Grandma to suck eggs. If you're an English person (or other ferner) married to a yank and would like to know how to make a lovely, light and fluffy American pancakes for your beloved, then this is how to do it. These are my husband's absolute favourite pancakes of all time. Given that he is my most honest critic and aficionado of food from "back home" that's high praise indeed. Now if I can only replicate some Taco Bell for him....
makes about 8 10" pancakes, takes approx. 40 mins
400g (14oz) plain (all purpose flour)
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 1/2 tsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 lg eggs
2 cups whole milk (plus extra if needed) or buttermilk if you can get it.
3 tbsp butter
oil for cooking
Crispy grilled free range bacon
real maple syrup
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar (if the sugar is fine enough to fit through your sieve, otherwise, add it separately)
Beat together the eggs and milk well and add to the flour mixture. You want a fairly thick batter, rather than a thin, heavy cream texture. Add a little more milk if the batter wont pour easily. Melt the butter in a small skillet and cook until the foam subsides and the butter starts to go ever so slightly brown, with a nutty scent. Whisk this into the batter mixture and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Heat an iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan or griddle over a medium heat. Use a heat-proof pastry brush to spread a little oil in a thin film over the bottom of the pan and use a ladle to pour the batter into the centre of the pan, tilting this way and that to spread the batter in a circle.
Cook the pancake for 1-2 minutes, until there are bubbles breaking on the surface and the edges are dry. Flip carefully in one movement with a spatula, or if you're fancy, with the flick of your wrist.
When the second side is cooked (after 45-60 seconds) move it to a warm plate, brush the pan with more oil and pour in your next pancake. Rub a little butter all over the top of the pancake, drizzle with a little real maple syrup and cover with an upside-down bowl. Repeat 7 more times, until all the pancakes are cooked, buttered and syruped.
Divide the pancakes onto serving plates and top with more butter and lashings of maple syrup.
Meanwhile, while the pancakes are cooking, put 2 slices of bacon per person under the grill and cook until just crisp but still with a little bend in it. Serve hot on the side of the pancakes.
My two guys ate 4 pancakes each, but they are gluttons with hollow legs. This recipe is plenty for four people with human stomachs and self-restraint.
Speaking of American pancakes and self-restraint, has anyone else heard about these IHOP cheesecake sandwich pancakes?? I I don't think that there's much I can say that the article and picture don't. Ugh.
Do they come with a tube of anti-chafing gel?