Monday, 6 December 2004

American Style Pancakes

There are a great many variations on the pancake. These are thought to have originated (at least in England) when Catholics wanted to use up all the rich food (butter, milk, eggs) that they have in their pantry before embarking on the fasting required in Lent. What better way to dispose of these rich food than by making pancakes. Thus we have the Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Lent) or Pancake Day.

The British pancake consists of just egg, flour, and milk. Hence, it comes out flat and thin. The American pancake (also called hotcake) is made of the same things but with added raising agent like baking powder or baking soda. It results in more 'cake' like apperance.

My family prefers the American version most probably because it is what me and my husband was exposed to in the Phils. which in turn what we exposed our children with. We very occassionally have this in a weekend morning with butter and maple or golden syrup on the side. Although in the Phils. we often have no syrup so we just make do with (Star) margarine spread on it and then sprinkled with granulated sugar. Good comfort food.

In the Philippines, we do not always adhere to the standard size of between 3-5 inches diameter pancakes. I've often seen people cook a dinner plate sized (10 inches) pancake and I've been guilty of this also. Well, the practical Pinoy would say - why cook several small ones when you can save cooking fuel by frying it all in one go! :) An American tourist was ROFL when he was confronted by these monstrous pancakes in a rural carinderia (eatery)! He admitted it was as good as back home though the size was something he had to get used to. Well I thought Americans are used to big servings! ;)

American Pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups milk or buttermilk or sour cream (or combination of the 3)
2 eggs - beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix all liquid ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until mixed. (If the batter looks too thick add water or milk a little at a time until you get the consistency that you want.) Let rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pour onto medium hot greased pan. Once bubbles cover the surface, flip the pancake, cover pan and lower heat for about 1 minute. The cover will help the pancake to rise more.
  5. Remove from pan and serve with butter and syrup.

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