Pancake day aka Shrove Tuesday is nearly upon us. Next week in fact. Our regular choice of pancake is the classic French style crepe. Thin, lightly crisp and brown around the edges and dusted, or in the case of the children, drenched in granulated sugar (for crunch) and fresh lemon.
But this year, I may well be making another type of pancake. The thick, yet oh so light and fluffy American style pancake. This is a new discovery of mine thanks to a challenge I have been set by Waitrose. I am taking part in a “World Cuisine” recipe challenge set by Waitrose that involves creating a pancake recipe based on a country or a place. I got the U.S.A.
I have decided to go all out with my American interpretation and had Elvis in mind when I thought of this recipe. Let me tell you, Elvis sure knows his food. Wow. I took 2 of the ingredients from his legendary Elvis sandwich and turned them into a pancake dish to rival all pancake dishes. Banana and bacon. Yes. I skipped the peanut butter. That gets replaced by lashings of dark maple syrup poured over just before eating. It works in a salty sweet kind of way. Given my love of all things salty and sweet, I will now be enjoying this pancake dish and saluting the Americans and Elvis himself next Tuesday the 4th of March.
American pancakes are easy to put together. What sets them apart from ours is the use of raising agents. I like to use a combination of both baking powder and a little bicarbonate of soda. I also insist on using the slightly sour element of buttermilk. This works so well and cuts through the richness of the thick batter. Weirdly, a sprinkling of vanilla powder as well as the salt helps to really balance this strange mixture of ingredients. They are quite something. I truly am converted.
One last thing. They must be fried in butter. This adds to the flavour and provides the pancakes with a wonderfully nutty brown fried edge to contrast to the feather light interior. They also re-heat very well the next day, in a hot oven for a few minutes and topped with freshly melted butter.
What are you making for pancake day? Have you a favourite topping? I would love to know!
Dislosure: I was provided with shopping vouchers and Waitrose cookery school vouchers for the purpose of developing this recipe.