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.
American style banana pancakes with bacon
- 150 g Plain flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Caster sugar
- 150 ml Buttermilk
- 70 ml Full fat milk
- 1 Large egg
- 2 tbsp Butter melted
- 2 Bananas thinly sliced
- Crispy bacon maple syrup and butter to serve with the pancakes
Sieve the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder, bicarb of soda and salt int a mixing bowl then add in the caster sugar and stir well,
Pour the buttermilk and milk into a measuring jug. Whisk in the egg then pour in the melted butter. Stir well,
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk together briefly, don't worry about any small lumps. To keep the batter light do not over whisk at this point,
Let the batter rest for 15 minutes then heat up a medium sized frying pan and melt a knob of butter into it,
Turn down the pan to a medium heat and pour in half ladles of pancake mix (I only manage 2 at a time),
When small bubbles begin to form on the surface of the pancake add a few slices of banana before flipping the pancakes to cook for a minute or two on the other side,
Keep the pancakes in a low oven until all the pancakes are cooked and you have fried off the bacon until crisp,
Serve the pancakes with a dot of butter, some crispy bacon and plenty of maple syrup.
This recipe makes 7 or 8 pancakes. They keep well in the fridge overnight. Just re-heat in a warm oven or in the toaster the next day. Alternatively you an freeze the cooked pancakes and defrost them in the toaster, oven or in the microwave.