In New England at this time of year one sees buckets hanging off maple trees collecting sap for boiling into maple syrup. It’s a great time of year that harkens back to old fashioned times before our veggies were imported from China… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ31Ljd9T_Y The last few weekends we’ve been going to a local sugar shack to have fresh maple syrup on really delicious pancakes. Did you know it takes over 40 gallons of sap to get just 1 gallon of syrup?
My recipe serves pancakes for 3 people, it could stretch to 4, and it could also be a giant serving for 2. Adjust to the appetites at your table. It’s ok to make the batter the night before, one plus being that it’s ready to go in the morning when all you really want to do is eat them! But this recipe takes no time, so don't sweat it. Let me know how it goes-
4 oz mini cup of yogurt
1 cup all purpose flour (see other options below**)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 TBL fine granulated vanilla sugar
½-¾ cup milk or buttermilk (depending on the flour you use)
½ tsp vanilla
1 fresh large egg
butter &/or canola oil for pan
REAL maple syrup
What & how to do it:
To get started: assemble the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, then put the wet into the dry. Mix well but no need to over stir, a lump or 2 won’t ruin these. The consistency should be neither too thick, nor heavy, nor liquidy, it has to be someplace in the middle, loose and weighty. The batter will fluff up because of the baking powder, air holes makes for fluffy light pancakes.
Ingredient #1: Yogurt
Stonyfield makes 4 oz mini cups of YO BABY yogurt in vanilla, as well as a variety of fruit flavors, they all work well in this batter. I am partial to vanilla. The full fat yogurt makes the pancakes really moist. It’s the “secret” in the secret ingredient! I have also made these with low and no fat yogurt and they come out great. If your maple syrup is flavorful you probably won’t even notice which yogurt you used. It’s fun to use blueberry yogurt if you intend to use fresh blueberries, same with banana, etc.
Ingredient #2: Flour
All purpose flour makes a traditional pancake. King Arthur organic makes great flour, in this case use 3/4 cup buttermilk. But sometimes I make buckwheat pancakes and then use ¾ cup Arrowhead Mills buckwheat flour mixed with ¼ cup cake flour and 1/2 cup buttermilk. The buckwheat pancakes are so light and scrumptious. Not being used to the brown of the buckwheat pancake, I thought they would taste like newspaper and be heavy and awful. They are the opposite; they are nutritious and delicious! You can adjust the buckwheat to your own preference. Go for it!
Ingredients #3-6: Salt, vanilla sugar, baking soda & baking powder
These dry ingredients should go into the flour bowl. Try and buy aluminum free (Rumsford brand) baking powder. The vanilla sugar is the same stuff I wrote about in the February brownie recipe.
Ingredient #7: Milk or buttermilk
You can use these interchangeably. I use buttermilk or goat milk because I avoid cow milk most of the time but any milk will do. The important thing to know about milk quantities is, if your batter gets too thick, add more milk, whichever kind you have.
Ingredient #8: vanilla
I’m a big fan of vanilla, you can add as much or as little as you want.
Ingredient #9: egg
Use 1 large egg. What matters here is that your eggs are fresh, old eggs are flat and you want fluffy happy pancakes.
Ingredient #10: butter &/or oil for the pan
Generally speaking I don’t use non stick pans because I have a habit of cooking on high heat and then lowering it once things get going. The story goes that is dangerous to cook on high on Teflon, so I don’t. But when it comes to pancakes, you don’t need to cook on high, so I pull out the non stick pan and it really helps in terms of using less fat to cook the pancakes in.
Ingredient #11: Maple syrup
This is good stuff! I love the amber, grade B, its darker and has a strong maple taste. Grade A is good too. There are 2 kinds of people: those who pour syrup all over their pancakes and those who pour it on the side and dip. I’m a dipper, which one are you?
As mentioned before you can add fruit to either batter if you like. But believe it or not you can fold corn into the all purpose flour version; which is de-lish.