Skip to content

Fluffy pancakes

When Chris was alive, he made a big thing of cooking pancakes and maple syrup for our breakfast every Sunday morning. I think it harked back to when we got married in Upstate New York, where pancakes & maple syrup (and/or waffles and maple syrup) loomed large at every breakfast, and our whole wedding party really pigged out. In fact, it was when eating the pancakes nearly three years ago that he first noticed that he was having trouble swallowing, which was the first indication we had of the oesophageal cancer.

I really enjoyed the pancakes, and since he died I’ve tried to keep up the tradition. However, I’ve simply not felt up to cooking first thing on a Sunday morning, so I’ve been making do with ready-made buttermilk pancakes from Waitrose, which just pop in the toaster. They’re not bad, but just aren’t in the same league as the ones that Chris used to make.

I realised quite what I was missing when J & P were here the other weekend. They (well, mostly J) cooked a batch of fresh pancakes for us all on the Sunday morning, and they were particularly tasty. They were so much lighter and fluffier than standard pancakes, because they’re made with beaten egg whites, almost like a soufflé.  I remembered that we had given J the recipe in the first place, and I reckoned that my cooking skills have probably improved enough over the last two years that I ought to be up to dealing with folding in egg whites by now.  So I went searching for the recipe, and on Sunday morning I had a go. They were delicious – really light and fluffy, and extremely moreish. And not as difficult to make as I had expected.

Here is the recipe for the fluffiest pancakes you can imagine. J did four egg’s worth for the three of us, and it was really slightly too much – we polished them all off, but felt guilty. I did one egg’s worth (and quartered all the other ingredients) on Sunday, and can report that the recipe scales down well for just one person.

Fluffy pancakes – for three hungry people or four less greedy ones!

  • 150ml milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 150g self raising flour
  • butter or oil for cooking
  • maple syrup for serving

Whisk together the milk and egg yolks in quite a large bowl. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and gently whisk it together to make a smooth batter.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites carefully into the batter with a large spoon.

Now comes the really difficult bit – cover the bowl and leave the batter in the fridge for an hour to rest. I’m not actually sure this bit of the recipe is achievable – particularly not at breakfast time! If Chris got up before me he would make the batter then chill it until I finally emerged blinking. But I’m not going to hang around getting hungry on a Sunday morning. The batter got about half an hour in the fridge and then I couldn’t wait any longer.

When you’ve given up waiting for the batter to rest, put the oven on low, and put in a serving dish and a jug of maple syrup to warm up. Heat a non-stick frying pan and grease it lightly with butter or oil. Drop in a ladleful of batter to make a pancake about 7-8cm across. You should be able to do a few at a time in the pan.  Cook for a few minutes on each side over a medium heat until golden brown. Don’t even think about trying to toss them – they are far too delicate. Use a spatula to gently turn them over.  Some of mine went horribly misshapen when I tried to turn them over, but they still tasted just as I remembered them. Put them in the oven to keep warm while you do the rest of the batch.

Serve with warmed maple syrup and, if you’re feeling particularly decadent, strawberries. Yum!

{ 2 } Comments

  1. J | 25 July 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    We never chill it for any longer than half an hour – can only wait so long for breakfast!

  2. Kevin | 27 July 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I find it hard to cook for just myself. I will cook a curry for example and by the time I have had a couple of Cheffie tastes, I don’t feel like eating and it goes into a plastic and joins the mountain of leftovers in the freezer. I need a guest to do something a bit special like pancakes.