Whether you call them pancakes, griddle cakes, hot cakes, or flap jacks, they're all a favorite breakfast treat. Pancakes are simply made by spooning a thin batter onto a hot cooking surface where it is cooked until the flat, round cakes are golden brown. They may also be baked, which creates a light, fluffy treat.
Beyond basic pancakes, you can create a delicious breakfast treat using simple ingredients and techniques.
Puffed Apple Pancake
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Beat eggs in a blender or food processor.
- Add flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, and salt, and process to combine.
- Leave blender running.
- Combine the remaining wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, melted butter) and add slowly to running blender or food processor until fully combined. Set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in an ovenproof 12 inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until butter begins to bubble.
- Sprinkle sugar evenly over the butter, and then arrange the apple slices on top of the sugar to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cook apples until they begin to soften - 2 to 3 minutes - without stirring.
- Carefully pour batter over apples and then move the pan to the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue baking until golden and puffy, an additional 10 minutes.
- Cut into slices and serve.
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Nonstick vegetable spray
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda) in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, butter).
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir gently until just combined.
- Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat.
- Spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.
- Working in batches, pour batter in 1/4 cup sizes into pan. Sprinkle blueberries over the top.
- Cook until golden on the bottom with bubbles showing in the top of the batter.
- Turn pancake and complete cooking, about 2 minutes.
Pancakes Around the World
Varying forms of griddle cakes are found all over the world, from the very thin, flour-based French crêpes to latkes, the European potato pancakes. English Yorkshire pudding is even a form of baked pancake. Traditional American pancakes contain flour, milk, eggs, and baking powder, but there are dozens of variations. Many of the European precursors to American pancake recipes omit the rising agent, creating a denser, flatter result. Whatever the style, its simple nature makes it ideal for experimenting with the thousands of pancake recipes in the world.
Pancake Aren't Just for Breakfast
Americans generally view pancake recipes as a breakfast food, but they are found in different meals across the world. Dessert pancakes are often served with fruit, sweet fillings, or custards. Dinner pancakes are combined with savory fare for a delicious side dish or the basis of a succulent main dish. With so many recipes to choose from, it's easy to see why pancakes are such a perennial favorite.