Every once in a while my daughter, who is the lieutenant chef, has a special request, and of course, within reason, we try to accommodate it. This morning was Banana Pancakes. Cliche, right? We often get them at Harry’s in West Roxbury (where they are to die for) but that does require getting up and getting dressed. We found a great recipe at Kitchen Treaty that we played with. I knew it would be good because it involves buttermilk. The recipe had a few revolutionary suggestions. One was to let the batter sit after combining it, so the rising agent (baking powder) can do its job. Brilliant! Pancakes were definitely the fluffiest banana pancakes we have ever created. Also, the suggestion of using a scooper was a mind-blowing improvement that I never thought of, and significantly aided the process. As a postscript you should know that there is never anything in my house but real maple syrup and this is for two reasons. One, I live in New England, so of course great (and super-expensive) maple syrup is always available. Two, “Pancake Syrup” is a horrifying fraud that aside is likely to negatively affect your health with its ingredients.
In any case, this is a good morning activity, but the clean up was extensive (and not yet done as of this writing).
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 bananas (if you only have green ones, you can add 1/4 table banana extract)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (room-temperature soft or melted and cooled)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Two shakes of cinnamon
- 1/16 teaspoon butterscotch extract
- Powdered sugar or maple syrup (or both) for topping
- First assess your bananas– if they are green-ish, like mine, we found you could submerge them in hot water for about 5 minutes to make them softer and slightly sweeter. That’s helpful, but not a total solution. Because greenish bananas are less sweet and have less flavor, we added about 1/4th teaspoon of banana extract. Also, if you get a hot buttered pan and you can get a ‘crisp’ exterior, it will bring out more of the banana flavor.
- Add your bananas to the bowl of a standing mixer. This can ensure a good mashing. If you have anger issues, you can mash them separately and later. Add the buttermilk, eggs (one at a time), butter, vanilla, banana extract if using and butterscotch.
- In a separate bowl, sift and add the the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together to combine.
- Add dry ingredients to your wet one. Mix gently.
- Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes. You’ll see bubbles. (Depending on your pan’s size, you can likely make a test pancake, and by the time it’s done and eaten you’ll be ready to make the rest)
- Melt butter in a large frying plan. Using an ice cream scoop, I was able to do two at a time. I feel it’s necessary to wipe-dry the pan between pancakes because it facilitates better pancakes and reduces the chance of burning the butter. When the pancakes bubble, flip them over, and then after about 35 seconds, take them out.
- Serve with sides, topping and maple syrup. You can make them early and toast them to suit late-risers.