Would you be my American Boy…?

American style pancakes are a great alternative breakfast treat, whatever the weather. With cold dark winter mornings and the miserable weather we’ve been having of late, these light fluffy delicacies come up trumps every time.

They are delicious served on their own with a dusting of icing sugar, however there are numerous other accompaniments you can add, such as rashers of smoky streaky bacon, sliced banana, blueberries, stewed apple, maple syrup…just to mention a few.

I prefer mine with blueberry compote, with lashings of maple syrup, or even as part of a traditional American breakfast. You can also add fresh fruit or yogurt for a healthier option.

If you’re pressed for time in the morning, the pancake batter can be made the night before so you can simply fry them in the morning.

Using buttermilk is a key ingredient, as it not only enhances the flavour, but is also acidic, which reacts strongly to the baking soda. This is one of the main reasons for the ‘lightness’ of the pancake. Buttermilk is widely available in most supermarkets, and generally keeps quite well over a couple of weeks – an ingredient well worth having to hand.

I first got into making American pancakes, whilst working in a restaurant on the Portabello Road, where they were a popular item on the breakfast menu. One of the general managers was quite fond of them, as well as being a fussy little so and so…but after a little patience and practice I soon became her American boy.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients:                                                                                                                (Serves 4)

175g Plain flour

1 Tsp Baking powder

25g Caster sugar

2 Free-range eggs, separated

250ml Buttermilk

25g Clarified butter

Maple syrup and/or blueberry compote to serve


Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add the caster sugar and stir to combine.

Add the egg yolks and milk to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to make a smooth batter. Take care not to over mix the batter, this will result in the pancakes being slightly tough and chewy, as this strengthens the gluten in the flour

In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then fold into the batter.

Heat a large frying pan until hot, add the butter and heat until melted and foaming. Place ladlefuls of the batter into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top of the batter. Turn the pancakes over using a spatula and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

To serve, divide the pancakes among four serving plates, with maple syrup and/or blueberry compote.


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