Pancakes are, were, my nemesis.
People I know told me that Saturday mornings were a lazy time for pancake breakfasts with their kids. This was relentlessly reinforced by scenes in movies and TV of blissful families laughing, making and devouring light, fluffy pancakes together. Some parents even made them in cute shapes or their kids initials.
Not in my kitchen. It was always a scene of me fishing egg shells out of batter whilst trying to comfort upset children who were unable to flip a pancake without “ruining” it. It was a migraine waiting to happen.
To add insult to injury, no matter what recipe I tried, trust me we tried a lot, they were always approaching burned on the outside and still raw in the middle. Generally they ended up in the bin. I blamed the pan. I blamed the recipe. I even blamed the buttermilk.
I was ready to throw in the towel and declare my kitchen a pancake free zone. Unwilling to admit defeat, I decided to give it one last go with the recipe on the back a carton of buttermilk. I figured that if it’s on a carton of buttermilk, it should work.
Finally, I found my pancake zen:
- I followed Deb Smith’s advice for thick pancakes and finish them off in an oven at 100C (225F). Not only does this finish cooking the centers without browning the outside, it keeps them warm. I struggled to make pancakes fast enough to feed five people at once and this solved two problems with one technique.
- I have found the consistency of buttermilk to be erratic at best. So I thin the batter with whole milk so that it runs easily off my spoon. I then use the back of the spoon to help move the batter to the desired size.
- Much to the dislike of the kids, make small pancakes, about the size of a drink coaster, so that you can flip them. Big pancakes are nearly impossible to flip.
- Drop the blueberries into the pancakes as soon as you have them all going in the pan. This allows the batter to cook around the berries.
- After flipping press down lightly with the spatula so the the batter fully encases the blueberries.
- Place the pancakes bottom up on the baking sheet so that any juices from the blueberries leak into the pancake.
Enjoy my friends.
Easy Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Fluffy pancakes with jewels of fruit make for a lazy breakfast treat.
Required skills: melting butter in the microwave; egg breaking with no shells in the bowl; cook in butter without burning; using a measuring cup instead of eyeballing it; flipping a pancake.
This recipe is adapted from the Dairy Farmers’ Buttermilk Pancakes.
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1 tbsp melted butter + additional for cooking the pancakes
- 2 tbsp castor sugar
- 125 gm punnet of blueberries
- Preheat oven to 100C (225F) and place a baking tray in the oven.
- In a bowl combine the eggs and buttermilk.
- Whisk in the flour, sugar and melted butter until combined. I like it to be fairly smooth. I know they say lumps are ok, but these turned into flour globs in my pancakes.
- Preheat your prefered pancake cooking pan or griddle while the batter sits for a bit. Turn down to a low heat. The temperature should not be high enough to cause the butter to brown.
- Check that your batter will run readily off your spoon and adjust consistency with whole milk.
- Once the pan is ready add a generous amount of butter to cover the cooking surface. When the butter is bubbling you can spoon in your batter.
- Drop in the blueberries. Chunks of fresh mango work well too.
- Pancakes are ready to be flipped once there are small bubbles around the edges and the tops are firm. Add more butter to the pan if needed. You want the pan to be quite moist.
- Gently press the pancakes with the spatula so the batter forms around the blueberries.
- You may hear the blueberries start to sizzle and that’s generally a signal that the pancakes are ready to move to the oven. Don’t be afraid to peek at them by lifting a bit to ensure they are golden brown.
- Move to the oven bottom sides up to finish and keep warm.
- Repeat as necessary.
So my friends, what is your nemesis dish?