Friday, September 14, 2007

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Pancakes are another food item I've experimented with a bit. I love a good pancake, but I think really good ones are hard to come by--sometimes they're too thick, sometimes too thin. Sometimes chewy, sometimes crumbly. Sometimes they taste like fried wallpaper paste. Mmm-mmm good.

The title of this recipe is Good Old Fashioned Pancakes, so I had high hopes. They were pretty good the first go-around, but I thought they could be improved, so I made a couple of adjustments. Just minor changes, really, but they really added a punch of flavor.

So tomorrow morning, when you're in the mood for pancakes, give these a shot!

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg*
1 c. milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 egg
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg*. (I just use a whisk or wire mesh sieve to accomplish this--no need for an actual sifter.)

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk, syrup, egg, and butter. Mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled pan or griddle over medium heat. Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, scoop batter onto griddle. When bubbles come to the raw surface, it's time to flip.

To keep warm, place finished pancakes in a single layer in a warm (200 degrees) oven until all the pancakes are done. Serve hot.

Yields: 8 servings

*Nutmeg: why freshly ground? It really is a totally different flavor than bottled ground nutmeg. (Like the difference between fresh and dried cilantro, but that's a topic for another time.) Plus, while bottled ground nutmeg starts to lose its flavor after just a couple of months after opening, a whole nutmeg will keep more or less indefinitely, and be wonderfully flavorful every time. I use a Microplane grater or the really really fine grating side of my box grater to grind it.

I purchased a container of 16 whole nutmegs a year ago at an Amish store for $1.69, and even though I use nutmeg every time I make a cream sauce, these pancakes, or apple pie, I'm still on my first or second nutmeg. So not only is it more flavorful, it's cheaper, too!

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