Time saver: like eating soft fluffy delicious clouds.
I’ve posted a recipe for pancakes before, but since then I’ve learned a trick that bears repeating. For really soft fluffy pancakes you have to separate the eggs, beat the whites separately and then fold them into the mixture. The difference is worth the extra effort. The fact that I had to come to Portugal to learn how to make the ultimate American pancake is just one of those things.
Pancakes – serves 3-4 (makes around 9-10 pancakes)
1½ cups white flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter (around 30g)
butter for frying
maple syrup to serve
Separate the eggs, putting the egg whites into a (stainless steel if you have it) bowl ready for beating.
Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks ((in Portuguese they say “claras em castelo” or “claras em neve”) and set aside.
Sift the flour, salt and baking flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, and into this pour the egg yolks, milk and butter.
Stir to combine with a fork. Start in the centre and work your way out to the sides, mixing thoroughly to combine and remove any lumps. Don’t overmix the batter. Alternatively you could use the electric beaters again – but only if you do it quickly to avoid overmixing (which results in tough rubbery pancakes).
Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the batter to combine. You want it well combined but don’t mix it so much that you lose the air in the whites. It’s okay to have little pockets of egg white.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Melt a knob of butter in the frying pan and spread evenly over the frying pan’s surface.
Pour a ladle-full of pancake mix (about ½ cup) into the centre of the frying pan (without tilting the pan). Cook on that side until bubbles begin to form on the surface, then flip and cook on the other side until browned (around 15-20 seconds).
Time saver: with the berries baked right into the pancake, you’ll forget that I’m not American, and that I’ve never cooked these for anyone who calls me “Uncle”. (One day my nieces and nephew, one day…)
Although I grew up on crêpes, I still like the fatter American-style pancakes from time to time. And when you include berries baked right into the pancake, they’re downright irresistible. I usually make these with strawberries grown on the deck, but you can use blueberries, raspberries, basically any berry you can get your hands on will probably be great. (The photos show blueberry pancakes.)
You can also make these without including the berries. In that case, serve with maple or vanilla syrup, or stack with fried bacon and bananas and a light drizzling of maple syrup.
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (this is around 125g – if berries are large, chop to size of raspberries)
butter for frying
maple syrup OR vanilla syrup OR icing sugar to serve
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, and into this crack the egg.
Also pour in the melted butter and milk, then stir to combine with a fork. Start in the centre and work your way out to the sides, mixing thoroughly to combine and remove any lumps. (There’s a balance here – the less you mix, the lighter the pancakes will be, but you don’t want lumps of flour from undermixing either.)
Add the berries and stir through the batter.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat (I use the 4 of the 1-6 heat-range of my element) . Melt a knob of butter in the frying pan and spread evenly over the frying pan’s surface. A small non-stick frying pan works really well and will help you get a round pancake. (They’ll work fine without it, but you may end up with irregular sides.)
Pour a ladle-full of pancake mix (about ½ cup) into the centre of the frying pan (without tilting the pan). If necessary, push the berries around to distribute a bit more evenly. Cook on that side until bubbles begin to form on the surface, then flip and cook on the other side. (Flipping can be a little difficult at times – you don’t want the bottom to burn, but if the top isn’t cooked sometimes the mixture runs or splashes. If you’re really struggling, maybe try cooking on a lower temperature, which should give you more time before the bottom burns.)
Serve with maple or vanilla syrup, or a light dusting of icing sugar.