I know everyone has their own pancake recipe but I'm going to give you mine in case anyone had the trouble I had when I first started making pancakes for serious consumption. The first pancake in any batch is always supposed to be a runt that should be fed to any passing hungry teenager or the dog but I found most of my pancakes carried on being runts. There was no chance of dropping the pancake on the floor, if you wanted to toss it, because it was so firmly stuck on, it wouldn't have left the pan in a month of Sundays. The pan was supposed to be non-stick but you could have fooled me and I didn't want to keep adding masses of extra butter or oil to the pan every time I added batter, to make sure the non-stick pan would do what it was supposed to do, without!
For a while I gave up but what goes around, comes around and some time later I tried again and experimented a bit with the batter, with, I have to say, pretty satisfactory results. This is what I came up with:
What you need:
2 large eggs (or 4 bantam eggs)
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain white flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 - 3 tbsps oil (I use almond oil which is very fine and light - you can get it from Sainsbury's - but you could use any other light, mild-tasting oil)
What you do:
Whizz all the above ingredients in a blender and pour into a jug.
Heat a small non-stick pancake pan until, when you throw in a few drops of cold water, they sizzle to nothing in a second or two.
For each pancake add just enough batter to cover the pan when you swirl it around. You don't need to add any extra fat at all. Cook until bubbles are appearing on the top surface and it looks dry rather than wet. If you are feeling adventurous, loosen the pancake with a wooden spatula and toss. If not, and I am afraid this is me, just use your wooden spatula to flip the pancake over and cook the other side for a minute or so until beginning to brown. Stack the finished pancakes on a clean tea towel and fold the tea towel over the top each time you add one, so that they don't dry out.
The first pancake may be a runt but the rest will not be! The presence of the oil dispersed through the batter means that they Will Not Stick! Overall this means using a lot less fat than adding it to the pan before cooking each one. Stir the batter before you pour into the pan each time and keep the pan good and hot and you can't go wrong.
Here is the pile I made yesterday evening:
Now your only dilemma is how to serve them.
Some like them with fat wedges of lemon to squeeze over and caster (never the coarseness of granulated!) sugar to sprinkle on top to add a delicious lemon-soaked crunch. I like them very much like this - it's how we always had them as children.
Others like them wrapped round a filling of banana or other fruit, either fresh or stewed, perhaps with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to finish.
I like them best sitting in, what has to be said, is a bit of an ocean of maple syrup and yesterday I made some Brown Sugar Ice Cream to sit alongside. The recipe comes from Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir's book, "Ices - The Definitive Guide". It is amazing. And the interesting thing is that the dark brown sugar in this ice cream works, not so much as a sweetening, but as a flavour in its own right. It marries perfectly with the slight nuttiness of the wholemeal flour in the pancakes (and the maple syrup that I consider obligatory!)
I will not tell you just how much maple syrup was consumed in this house last night and this morning with the leftover pancakes for breakfast. I am afraid it was way over the RDA!
But, as you may already have gathered from elsewhere in my blog, I find intense sweetness on my plate, in the colder months of the year, a major facilitator in keeping winter blues firmly at bay. It works every time so I make no apology although I don't suggest you necessarily consume the quantities of maple syrup I do!