Pancakes: The sweet and the savory

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis / Photography By D. Lucas Landis | Last Updated April 04, 2016
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For many of us, our weekend routines often involve a leisurely cup of coffee, a perfect pot of tea, a chance to lounge in our pajamas and read or listen to music. I find people are passionate about their weekend breakfasts, meals that often take on an air of relaxed celebration.

People wax poetic about great egg dishes and good bacon, but more often I hear friends talk about the simple beauty of mixing up a batch of pancakes. There’s a joy in standing over a warm stove, spatula in hand, flipping the cakes just as they start to bubble on the surface. It’s a treat to dribble warmed maple syrup on the cakes and dig in.

I love pancakes for the endless variety of mix-ins, toppings and types of flour that can be used. In this edition, we celebrate the traditional as well as some new recipes that will hopefully become classics in your kitchen. This weekend, stay in your pajamas, put on some music and grab a spatula.

Some things to remember about pancakes:

1.  Treat your pancake batter with a gentle hand. This is not the time to beat the batter hard or whisk the batter into a uniform smooth texture. A few lumps are desirable, and treating the batter with care will leave you with a lighter, less gummy pancake.

2.  Keep your temperature moderate. Too hot and the outside will be tough while the inside is still raw and gooey. As with your scrambled eggs, think low and slow when it comes to heat.

3.  Be willing to mess around with the liquid- to dry-ingredient ratios. Some people like flatter, thinner pancakes, some like thicker, more cake-like pancakes. Add more or less liquid depending on the kind of pancake you want.

4.  Be willing to sacrifice the first pancake for the good of the whole batch. Sometimes it takes time to figure out exactly where the temperature needs to be. That first pancake serves as a trial run. Watch what it’s doing in the pan and then adjust the heat as needed. It’s also a good one to eat with your fingers as you are frying the rest of the batch.

5.  Leftover batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast on Monday morning. The pancakes will not bake up quite as fluffy as they would have on the day they were mixed, but it’s a good way to take a bit of that weekend feeling with you into the start of the week.

6.  Change up your ingredients with the seasons. In spring, try some fresh maple syrup or homemade lemon curd; in summer, ripe raspberries and blueberries make for a succulent plate. As always, we encourage you to experiment and try new variations. Pancakes are about slowing down and enjoying the experience of cooking.

Toppings and add-ins 
for pancakes:
Nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, yogurt, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, grated spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger), fried apples (see website for our recipe), powdered sugar, maple syrup,  melted butter, lemon curd, honey, peanut butter, jam, kimchi, sour cream, applesauce, apple butter, granola, chocolate chips, powdered sugar, rhubarb sauce, almond butter

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