It's Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras!! When i was growing up, we would have pancakes for dinner only once a year. Strictly meat & potatoes folks, my Mom didn't serve breakfast for dinner very often. Usually, i crack a box of pancake mix, but this year i decided to try making them from scratch. I searched the vast internet and found two recipes i really liked, both from the Food Network; one from the American site, and the other from the Canadian site. There are two significant differences in the sites. American is .com, Canadian is .ca. The other difference is in the shows hosts. There are a few shows on the American channel that are not on the Canadian, and vice versa.
The recipe i found on the Canadian site was from one of my favorites, Chef Michael Smith. He is from PEI, which is almost right next door to my home, New Brunswick. I was planning on using that recipe, but changed my mind at the last minute to go with the American one i found, by someone named Sunny Anderson; a chief i have never heard of. I din't think she is on the Canadian Food Network since i could not find the recipe there (i went back to get the syrup part since i had not originally copied it). Here is her recipe.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed to thin
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons butter
Blackberry Syrup, recipe follows
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Slowly mix in egg, milk, peanut butter and oil until combined. Add a little extra milk if batter feels too thick. Let mixture sit 5 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon butter on griddle and move around to coat entire griddle. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on griddle to form 5-inch pancakes. The batter spreads as it cooks. Fill griddle without crowding pancakes. Flip when air pockets start to pop on the top and a quick peak on the underside reveals a golden pancake. Repeat with remaining butter and batter. Serve pancakes with Blackberry Syrup.
2 pints fresh blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon, zested
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up blackberries as they cook. Strain syrup to remove seeds and serve warm.
And while typing that out, i just discovered a big mistake i made...i added the butter to the batter. I thought it was odd for a recipe to have both butter and oil. Oops. I actually dumped it into the melted peanut butter to cool it before adding it to the egg mixture. Well, i have to say they didn't stick while cooking (although i did spray the pan before the first one).
This afternoon while i was on break, i wandered in the City Market and bought a pint of strawberries to chop into my pancakes. I changed my mind to this recipe because i decided i could use them instead of the blackberries. I was never wild about blackberries anyway. I only used one pint instead of two. At 2.99 a pint, it was going to have to be enough. Here is a picture of the Summery strawberries before i mashed them and added the sugar and water.
While the berries simmered, and i learned to watch them lest the simmer turn into a boil and climb the walls of the pan, i made the batter; and while the batter rested, i strained the berries. This recipe syncs itself perfectly so that you spend a minimal amount of time in the kitchen. I have plenty of syrup left over, and it is so pretty (hard to tell, i couldn't get a decent bright picture).
These pancakes turned out great!! I can't wait to make them again next time i have company for breakfast! They do not take many ingredients and they turned out light and fluffy!
Happy Mardi Gras!!
Edit: So apparently my calendar is playing a trick on me and has Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday noted both this month and next month...the actual date of pancake day turns out is next month. So, guess i get to do it all over again next month and try my second recipe!! Yummy!!