I made these pancakes this past Mother’s Day for my family and for me – mostly for me. My husband was ready to show me love and appreciation by taking the kids with him to the bagel shop to pick up warm bagels, the Sunday paper and hot coffee. That would’ve been nice, but I had an even better idea. I asked him would he run to the market to buy fresh blueberries instead? Bagels are fine, but I wanted to eat something really good for breakfast on Mother’s Day. I wanted homemade blueberry pancakes and I wanted time in the kitchen. Most of all I wanted him and the kids to eat them and not say a single critical word about them. I got almost everything I wanted.
After the first bite, my younger son screwed up his face and said, “I taste eggs.” and then demanded, “Mom, are there eggs in these? Because there aren’t eggs in the blue pancake box that you usually make.” And that freaked my baby girl out who folded her arms and refused to eat them and had to be threatened by her father that he would cut off all her doll’s hair if she didn’t finish the one pancake that she was given. She didn’t seem phased by this in the least, rolled her eyes and shoved the few bits of maple syrup-soaked pancakes into her mouth. And without so much as a gag, I might add. My older son asked me, “Why would you make homemade pancakes when we have that blue box of pancake mix in the cabinet?”
I just smiled and said to all three of my little angels, “Because momma loves you so much she’d rather make you a homemade breakfast then pour some white powder out from a box and add some water.” And then I turned around and said under my breath, “How ’bout we all just shut up now and eat the pancakes?!” I mean it is Mother’s Day after all.
These pancakes are salty-buttery-maple-syrupy sweet. They are fried crisp around the edges and will do nothing to help you shed those last five pounds. If pleasure is what you seek, then these are the pancakes for you. I recommend you eat these with family or friends you love, plan to serve fresh fruit on the side, brew a pot of very good coffee and let the happiness begin. Oh, you might want to plan some form of exercise to work these off for later in the day. And plan to eat a lot of salad for lunch and dinner as well.
- Warm your pan or griddle slowly on low.
- Melt a stick of unsalted butter (in the microwave – begin at 30 seconds, you may have to do 10 seconds more – one minute is way too long) and let cool to room temperature.
- Separate two large eggs – whites into one bowl, yolks in another.
- Whisk together a cup of milk (I used 1% but know in my heart whole milk is the better choice, however not having to run to the store just for a pint of whole milk is an even better choice), the egg whites, a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of vanilla*.
- Slowly pour the cooled butter into the egg yolks and gently whisk**. Add the yolk and butter mixture into the milk mixture and give it all a good whisk.
- In a small bowl whisk a cup of flour (all-purpose) with 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 4 teaspoons of sugar (I used demerara straight from the sugar bowl because it was what I had in front of me at the time) and a teaspoon of kosher salt. Whisk that into the milk mixture just until it’s combined. Add a little more milk (teaspoon at a time) if you think it’s too thick.
Add a generous handful of fresh blueberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree or whatever you like.
Wipe the pan with a pat of unsalted butter, turn up the heat to a low-ish medium, and using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, scoop (make it so it’s not quite a full 1/4 cup) and pour the batter onto the pan. Watch carefully and when the bubbles rise, pop and disappear, it’s time to carefully flip. Continue cooking until golden brown. Serve these pancakes right away with real maple syrup and/or powdered sugar.
* I added the vanilla because the kids think it makes the pancakes taste more like sugar cookies. And so, we compromise.
** I learned this trick from Molly Wizenberg’s memoir A Homemade Life. It’s from her recipe for Buckwheat Pancakes. Adding the yolks to the butter first helps the butter incorporate into the batter more smoothly. Ms. Wizenberg credits Cooks Illustrated. Her blog Orangette.blogspot.com is delicious!
I’d like to thank themuddykitchen.com for bringing Ruth Reichl’s World’s Best Pancakes to my attention when she gave the recipe as part of her March 12, 2013 post Down at the Sugar Shack.
Ruth Reichl is the author of Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table and Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table. I have read the latter and it is part of my cookbook/food memoir collection.
P.S. I am happy to report that my children have adapted to our family’s new Sunday pancakes. They have not only survived the transition but they are actually asking me to make them again this Sunday!
P.S.S. No dolls were harmed in the making of these pancakes. All dolls at our house still have their hair.