A couple times a month, I make Sunday morning pancakes. I take my pancakes seriously and spent my childhood studying the art of the flapjack at my father’s elbow (he’s a former short order cook who spent years developing his own from-scratch pancake mix which you can find here). While I love pancakes simply for what they are (how does one describe the soul of a pancake?), I also look at them as platform for finishing off open jars of homemade stuff.
Take this last Sunday for example. I whisked together eggs, milk, a drizzle of grapeseed oil, a splash of vanilla extract and several scoops of my version of my dad’s mix. I greased and heated my perfectly seasoned, only used for pancakes griddle (I told you I’m no pancake lightweight) and made my dollops of batter. While the first side cooked, I sprinkled a bit of granola into the raw side. A little extra care went into the flipping, so as not to dislodge the granola. When they were done, my pancakes were studded with crisp bits and softened raisins.
This is such a good way to fancy up your pancakes without putting a whole lot of extra work into them. I’ve also done this with sliced bananas, chopped pecans or dried cranberries. It also works with canned fruit like peaches, pears and plums. They can’t be too moist, just drain them a bit and chop them fine. The fruit caramelizes when you flip the cakes to cook the second side, which tastes just wonderful in the finished product.
There are just a couple things to know you cook toppings into your pancakes. The first is that you need to use a light hand when sprinkling them in. Overwhelm the cake with add-ins and your disturb its structural integrity. Spread sparingly and evenly. The second is something I alluded to above. You’ve got to take care when flipping the cakes so that you don’t end up scattering the additional bits across your stove top.
Though I’ve flipped many a cake in my day, I never take the skill for granted. You’ll need to access your meditative center during the frenzy of breakfast making, at least just for a moment. Slide the spatula under the cake (make sure to have a solid grasp on the handle) and lift. Center it back over the space where it needs to land. Take a deep breath and empty your head of any nagging worries. Finally, flip with confidence, following through with your wrist. Success!
Finally, once all your pancakes are cooked, spread them with jam (though my husband can’t be swayed from a puddle of real maple syrup) and dig in.