Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sour Cream Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

I love trying recipes whose author says that they've tried recipe after recipe to find the BEST possible version of whatever they're cooking, and AH-HA! After intense research and many hours of cooking, here it is. I love those recipes. They are always an exciting stepping stone on your own journey to find the BEST recipe. It's almost like a wild west shootout: Whose recipe is really the best? Which one will survive the cook-off challenge? (Because you KNOW, when you come across a recipe that claims to be the best, it's going up against YOURS.) Which, by the way, is why I am crazy about the cooking magazine Cooks Illustrated. Every recipe they present, every food gadget they recommend, comes with a detailed story illustrating exactly how they came to their conclusion that THIS is the best version. I am getting my first issue really soon, and am so excited!! (Thanks, Amie!) Anyway, back to the pancakes. I didn't really know to be picky about pancakes. I mean, a pancake is a pancake, right? Either they're made from a mix -dry and bready- or they're homemade -flat and tasteless- or so I thought. UNTIL... I decided to try a recipe in the 1997 Taste of Home Annual Recipes cookbook for Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes. Let me tell you, it rocked my pancake world. I felt like Eve after eating the forbidden fruit: my eyes were opened to a whole new world, where pancakes were flavorful, with a moist interior, a bit of crispiness on the edges, and still able to puff up when cooked. I would be happy eating these pancakes for the rest of my life. Actually, there was once when I didn't think that. It was when we went to this breakfast place called The Original House of Pancakes, about 1/2 mile from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. One of the best breakfasts I've ever had. So, the recipe, with just a few tweaks of my own(like minus the blueberries):

Sour Cream Pancakes

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream (I've also substituted yogurt for this, plain and flavored)
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, vanilla and milk. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined, but don't overmix-leave some lumps. Heat your electric griddle to 325 degrees. Either spray with Pam or grease with butter. Pour out your cakes. When bubbles are appearing and some are popping, and the edges are starting to look a little dry, flip em. They'll puff up a little when you do. Keep the cooked ones warm in the oven while you work your way through the batter.

So our favorite way to eat these pancakes is with Buttermilk Syrup. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law's in-laws, the Tolmans.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat sugar, butter and buttermilk in saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and baking soda. CAUTION-it will really foam up when you add the vanilla and soda, so make sure you're using a bigger saucepan than the amount of ingredients calls for. The foam will go down as it cools, but we can never wait so we laddle it on as is.

1 comment:

  1. You know what? I'm making these beautiful pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning. They look amazing!