I saw Jamie Oliver doing these on the television just before Christmas. He was making them with his two eldest daughters. I’m not short of pancake recipes, but I’ve never been wholly pleased with the result. Not least, most pancake recipes need you to rest the mixture overnight or for an hour. Despite being really organised in many respects, I just get annoyed at the thought of having to make pancake mixture in advance like that. But I guess I’d have been able to get a*** into gear if the result had been worth while. And, have I mentioned, it’s not been.
Three things struck me about the Jamie pancake recipe that made me want to give it a try:
1) Its immediacy: you mix it up and away you go
2) You don’t have to weigh anything, you just use a cup – any coffee or tea cup – and that’s the measure you use for both flour and milk, so it’s great if you haven’t got scales/can’t be bothered with them.
3) It has grated fruit in it. This could only be a good thing. Then I made them and they were so delicious that they’ve become a regular Saturday morning fixture ever since.
Here is the recipe:
One cup of self raising flour (update, to make these more ‘wholegrainy, I now make them with half a cup of self raising flour and half a cup of wholemeal plain and then add half a teaspoon of baking powder)
One cup of milk (I use semi skimmed since that’s what we get)
Pinch of salt
A nice pear or apple or banana
to serve: blueberries, maple syrup and live yoghurt. (Jamie’s recipe called for yoghurt and honey, I prefer to serve them slightly differently.)
Here is what you do:
Whisk together the flour, milk and egg. You can use an electric whisk if you want, or a hand whisk or even a fork. It doesn’t need much, just enough to make a smooth batter. Add the pinch of salt – I use Maldon sea salt. Take a nice ripe pear or apple and wash it, then great the whole thing into the mixture, peel and all. Jamie did it pips and all, I fish those out, or grate around them. Bananas work well too but it makes for a very strong banana flavoured pancake and we’re not so fond of them done this way in this house. Pears and apple are, I’ve found, the best. They impart a sweetness with no obvious presence. I don’t say this as one who believes you have to hide fruit from children. I don’t like subterfuge like that. But what I’m getting at is you end up with a really delicious pancake that just happens to have fruit in it.
Once the mixture is mixed together, heat a frying pan with a tiny bit of oil (I use sunflower, any relatively flavourless oil would do) and a tiny bit of butter. (You’ll need to repeat the oil and butter for each batch, but you only need tiny amounts.) Then I use two tablespoons per pancake and in my pan I can fit three in in one go. They don’t take very long to cook on each side – about a minute or so, just use your common sense – you’re looking for golden brown to fairly dark brown. Flip and repeat. I put mine in the warming drawer whilst I’m doing the rest but if you don’t have one then wrap them in silver foil or pop them in a very low oven. The whole batch is fairly fast to make and I’ve never had to ‘sacrifice’ the first few, like you do with regular pancakes. Using a true cappuccino cup (which I can measure if anyone is interested) I get about 12 pancakes done this way.
I serve with live yoghurt, blueberries and maple syrup and they are truly delicious and a great way to start the weekend.
ps: I’ve just enabled comments on this blog as I get quite a few emails/comments on Facebook. If you have a comment on this blog, please can I ask you put it here so I don’t look like Noddy Nomates. Thank you.
An addendum to this, written on 29th November:
I’ve since experimented with adding half wholemeal and half white self raising and it makes for a really delicious pancake, slightly nuttier in taste but not at all off-puttingly ‘worthy’. But it fills me up for longer because the GI (glycaemic index) is lower in wholemeal flour than white. If you can only find plain wholemeal flour, then add half a teaspoon of baking powder to the mix as well.