The only way to handle a mildly hungover Sunday morning for me is to make breakfast. Proper breakfast, mind, with lots of coffee, Sunday papers, fresh orange and a lot of giggling about the night before. And since I’m generally more in the American breakfast camp than the English, my meal choices for this ritual are normally trans-Atlantic. Hence this Sunday morning’s hangover pancakes.
For some reason, it has recently happened that we’ve ended up with a lot of incongruous fruit in the fridge – fruit I have no real need for – for example, when I needed grapes last night to make a grape and rosemary focaccia, all I had was cherries. (FYI this worked surprisingly well. Excellent with goat’s cheese) And when I needed blueberries to make pancakes, a punnet of droopy looking strawberries stared at me accusingly instead. So I decided to stick them in anyway. It’s all fruit after all, and as America has very wisely taught us, streaky bacon will go with absolutely anything.
The trick to really fluffy American pancakes is, I think, to beat it all by hand. I’m not sure why, maybe you just get more air into the mix with your wrist. It’s also wise not to cook them for too many people. They sink if they’re left too long and from experience men can eat anything up to 12 of them at once. Even with four frying pans on the go, that’s quite a feat and hardly what you want with a sore head…
As to the bacon, I always use streaky for everything. You can cook it to an absolute crisp, and it’s still tasty – back bacon dries out too quickly for me. Alright it’s not as healthy, but you’re about to douse it in maple syrup – is that really what you’re thinking of right now?!
American strawberry pancakes with bacon and maple syrup
Will feed from 2-4 people, depending on gender and greed.
For the pancakes
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 115g plain flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder
- 140ml milk
- 4 rashers streaky bacon per person (outdoor-reared, British, you know the drill)
- couple handfuls strawberries, quartered
- butter, for frying and maple syrup, to serve
1 Separate the eggs, and add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to the yolks. Whisk in the milk slowly until you have a smooth batter. Whip the egg whites until you have stiff peaks, then fold them gently into the yolk mix, in three batches. Be careful not to knock all the air out – it’s easiest to fold with a balloon whisk. You should end up with a moussey looking batter.
2 Grill the bacon until crisp, then put in a warm oven while you cook. Heat a frying pan (or however many you can juggle), add a little butter with a drop of oil, and when foaming, drop a small ladleful of mixture into the pan. Repeat without crowding the pan, and place a few strawberry quarters on each pancake.
3 When the underside is golden, flip them carefully and cook on the bottom for a minute, until the pancake has puffed up and browned on the bottom. Transfer the pancakes to the warm oven, and repeat the process – cleaning out the frying pan with kitchen roll every time the butter burns. When done, layer up the pancakes with the bacon, drizzle over the maple syrup and serve with extra strawberries scattered on top. And tuck in quickly – they don’t hang around…
For more irresponsible but delicious brunch recipes, follow the link.