We love plain old pancakes. They can be: homemade or made from a bagged or a boxed mix; made with fresh or canned milk (my favorite for the consistency and taste it gives the batter) or buttermilk; thick and cake-y or thin and crepe-y; enriched with a handful of cornmeal or oatmeal or wheat germ stirred in; for breakfast or dinner or dessert. With butter and a maple-y syrup (we love pure amber real syrup, Log Cabin, and my homemade sugar/water/Mapleine syrup equally), pancakes are our favorite way to start a Sunday. This recipe can easily be halved, but I make the full amount because it can be held three days in the refrigerator, longer without turning gray if bleached flour is used. It's a forgiving recipe, too, allowing me to take advantage of what I have on hand in the pantry and the refrigerator. (I hate it when I come across an interesting recipe that screams "Make me now!" but I'm missing a crucial ingredient.) Every now and then, just to shake up our routine or to take advantage of gorgeous seasonal fruit, I'll turn my basic batter into dessert pancakes to start the day. It's better than IHOP--there's little that's more homey than griddling pancakes in your pajamas. —betteirene
about 6 adults
granulated sugar or brown sugar
baking soda (necessary only if using buttermilk)
12-oz. can evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water; 2 cups whole, 2% or skim or chocolate milk; or two cups buttermilk
any kind of oil, melted butter or melted shortening
sliced and peeled cooking apples, pears, fresh or frozen peaches, apricots, fresh or frozen blueberries, fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries, fresh or frozen sliced rhubarb, or 6 cups washed, hulled and sliced fresh strawberries*
1/4 to 3/4 cups
any fruit juice (not concentrated) or water
Kosher or table salt
heavy cream, whipped
granualted or powdered sugar
In This Recipe
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda (if using) and salt.
Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir or whisk together very well, then blend in any optional ingredients.
Set aside to rest for 10-20 minutes at room temperature to allow flour time to absorb the milk, or to prepare the fruit topping. (If the batter is too thick for your liking AFTER this rest period, gently stir in additional milk or water a tablespoon at a time until the consistency you like is reached.)
For fruit topping, melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add fruit and up to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on the tartness of the fruit being used. Cook and stir until the fruit is cooked through but not mushy.
Stir together cornstarch and fruit juice or water; pour over fruit, stirring constantly, and cook until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. *If using fresh strawberries, omit steps 4, 5 and 6. Place strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle them with up to 3/4 cup sugar, and allow to macerate at room temperature while preparing pancakes.
Prepare pancakes by heating a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. When a drop of water skittles over the top of the griddle, use a pastry brush or a folded paper towel to spread a thin film of oil over the hot surface. Ladle or spoon a scoop of batter onto the griddle; let cook about two minutes, flipping over the pancakes when the bubbles on top start to burst and the edges look dry. Adjust heat as needed so that the centers of the pancakes get cooked through without burning. Place pancakes on a cookie sheet and keep warm in a 150-200 degree oven until all pancakes are cooked.
When ready to serve, whip cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Place a pancake on a serving plate, top with a spoonful of fruit and repeat two or three times. Top each three- or four-layer stack with a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.