What kind of pancake do you like?
Your idea of a pancake will vary depending on where you live and your family’s food traditions. The traditional American or Canadian pancake is sometimes referred to as a flapjack or griddle cake. So, let’s just confirm that we’ll be cooking up this basic flour, milk and egg batter that’s flipped in a frying pan. There is a little sugar, vanilla and baking soda added so that they’ll puff up a little. If you’re looking for the ultra thin pancake from Brittany, called crêpe brettone, then check out this recipe instead.
Boxed vs Scratch
Some of you reading this may have run out of boxed pancake mix. You may be wondering if making pancakes from scratch is going to actually turn out.
Well, you’ve got this! It’s really very easy and requires very few additional ingredients or preparation steps. But using all these basic, wholesome ingredients, without those additives found in boxed mixes, will be worth it.
Top it off with pure maple syrup
Okay, I admit it! For me, pancakes are really just an excuse to get my fill of a local specialty, maple syrup. In spring, the sap of the sugar maple is boiled down at a ratio of forty to one to produce pure maple syrup. The sugar maple grows across a large swath of Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern US. And you’ll find sugar making operations from Nova Scotia to Minnesota.
Some property owners, with maple woodlots, enjoy the springtime ritual of making maple syrup to share with family and friends. But if you don’t happen to know someone, then visit one of the many commercial sugarbush operators that welcome the public. Brunches at a rustic sugar shack or cabane à sucre are a spring ritual that celebrates one of the region’s food treasures.
Like in wine making, a good year of maple syrup production depends on the geography and climate of the region. The ideal conditions for a good sap run are are daytime highs that are a little above the freezing point and nights just below it.
How maple syrup is graded
There are grades of maple syrup ranging from light to dark. Similar to how olive oil is graded, the extra-light is the first to be produced and is considered by the aficionados to be the finest grade. It is very smooth going down and has no after taste. As the season progresses, the syrup turns amber, and the taste is a little heavier. At the end of the run, the syrup gets dark, and the taste is harsher. This grade is not so common and could be described as a bit like a woody molasses.
If you’re looking to buy some locally produced syrup or wish to visit a maple sugar operation, you’ll find more from these excellent resources:
- Bonjour Quebec
- State of Vermont Pure Maple Syrup
- New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association
- Sweet Ontario
Pancakes from Scratch
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 1¼ cup milk
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg then mix in the milk.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.
- Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.
- Add about 2 tbsp shortening or vegetable oil to a large frying pan and heat to medium-high.
- Ladle out portions into pan and fry until bubbles form. Flip over.
- Cook for about a minute on the other side or until lightly browned.
NutritionPer serving Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Iron: 1mg
After you have made the pancake batter above, rinse and dry 1 cup of blueberries (preferably wild ones), coat with a little flour, then stir them into your batter.
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