Saturday, October 10, 2009

Make me banana pancakes...

Do you debate it in your house? Crepes or pancakes I mean. Which is better? Who prefers what? What will be made? Growing up, my dad preferred the thick, fluffy pancake. Preferably smothered in butter, maple syrup and cream. And perhaps with ice-cream. Rather like the McDonald's hotcakes in fact. I would vote for paper thin crepes, topped with lemon and sugar. They would be rolled into a log and eaten in slices. My sister Rach was a gun at making choc-chip pikelets. Melty chocolate, smothered in dripping butter, napkins mandatory!

More recently, I have been converted to the thick and fluffy side. But with banana if you don't mind. Mmmmmm! Blame it on Jack Johnson if you will:

But baby, you hardly even notice

When I try to show you this

Song it's meant to keep you

From doing what you're supposed to

Like waking up too early
Maybe we could sleep in
I'll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now...

Sure, I do only make pancakes on the weekend, so there's no pretending about that. But pancakes in our house signals a lazy morning. Waking up late, substituting breakfast for brunch. Brewing an endless pot of coffee in the Bialetti. Raiding the fridge for half-eaten jars of jam... My pick is for banana pancakes, if you please!

This recipe is from one of my most trusted cookbooks, Feast. A few alterations have been made to Nigella Lawson's original instructions. For example, she is light on the sugar. While bananas are sweet, I think a little more is needed. And how she gets 20 pancakes out of it, I'll never know. Read, make, enjoy...

Banana Pancakes
Makes 7

I ripe banana, or two if they are lying around
180 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 egg
300 ml milk
Splash of vinegar (or use 300 ml buttermilk and no vinegar if you have it handy)
2 tbs sugar
Butter, for cooking

In the bowl of your food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the butter. Blitz until smooth. Transfer into a jug and let it stand for a while. This can be done in the fridge for 30 minutes, and you will get a thick, frothy mixture. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the banana and add it to the liquid ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients after sifting them. Make a well in the middle of these ingredients and stir in the liquids.

Heat a frying pan or your trusty pancake cooker if you have one (ours was a gift that came from Aldi) to a medium heat. Grease the surface of your frying pan with butter on the back of a spoon. You really don’t want your pancakes to be swimming in butter, so this is a measured way of getting grease in without overdoing it. Pour in a good amount of batter, swirl pan around gently to dispurse the mixture and make your pancakes bigger. Cook until lots of bubbles appear and the underside is browning nicely. Flip and cook. Remove to a foil-lined plate. Keep the pancake warm under the foil while you repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Enjoy your pancakes with whatever toppings you prefer. Sliced banana and honey... butter and fig jam... maple syrup and ice-cream... lemon and sugar.

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