Growing up, my dad regularly made pancakes on Saturday mornings. Prepared with Bisquick, served with butter and a healthy pour of Mrs. Butterworth’s. I remember my pancake breakfast preparation: I was wrapped in a full-sized apron with sleeves: a cheery yellow, dotted with red strawberries. My hair was then pulled tightly into two braids. Apparently, I couldn’t be trusted not to lick the plate after finishing my pancakes, and if my long hair wasn’t contained, it resulted in a Saturday morning bath. Not fun for anyone (especially when there were cartoons to be watched.)
Pancakes are a regular tradition now that I’m an adult too, although probably more often for dinner. But since I”m home with the kids most days, we can just as easily have pancakes on a Tuesday morning, and we do. I don’t use Bisquick or Mrs. Butterworth’s though. Mixing up your own pancakes is just as easy, and it is hard to resist the sweet smoky siren song of pure maple syrup.
There are a lot of pancake recipes out there, and most are variations on a similar theme. I’ve previously posted hearty oatmeal versions, blueberry johnnycake, and a traditional simple pancake. All delicious, but I recently stumbled upon another plain and simple pancake that has a lightness that is surprising. The Mississippi pancake from Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook, (review forthcoming), is introduced by Amanda simply : “In Mississippi they know how to make a feathery pancake.” No further description is needed–this is one light and lovely pancake.
This doesn’t make a huge batch if your family has a hearty appetite for pancakes. The first time I made them (two adults, a toddler, and an infant), we were left wanting. The second time I got smart and doubled the batch. The recipe below is the single batch version.
Mississippi Pancakes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 T vegetable oil
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1) Whisk eggs until light and frothy. Whisk in milk and oil, and then add the melted butter in a slow stream while whisking. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir lightly until most lumps are gone (but don’t stir too much.)
2) Heat griddle on medium heat until a drop of water sizzles. Grease with butter, or bacon grease if you’re feeling hedonistic. Pour batter onto skillet, forming whatever size pancakes feels good that day. As each pancake cooks, small bubbles will form and burst. When a small hole is left behind when the bubble pops, the pancake is ready to flip. Flip once, and cook other side until equally golden-brown and delicious. Serve immediately, with butter and maple syrup. If having fruit with your pancakes will make you feel better, throw together the recipe below.
Quick Raspberry Maple Syrup
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1) As you begin to make the pancake batter (or even a little before), add 1/4 cup frozen raspberries to 1 cup warm maple syrup. Let raspberries begin to thaw. Just before serving, mash up raspberries with a potato masher or fork. Re-warm syrup and serve. The syrup takes on a pretty pink color and the sour-sweetness of raspberries. It’s yummy.